Feb 21 2013

Screech-owl Roost … and Nest?

Published by at 7:10 am under Bird Behavior,Birds of Prey

Eastern screech-owl roosting in Owl Box #7 (image from PixController.com)

If you haven't been watching PixController's eastern screech-owl webcams you'll want to start now.

Back in October when I first wrote about the webcams, eastern screech-owls were just starting their winter-roost season.  The birds hadn't chosen preferred boxes and a squirrel was time-sharing in one of them.

Since then two owls have sorted out who roosts where.  They're definitely aware of each other because they sometimes visit each others' roosts or eat each others' cached food.

This week they've been busy in Owl Boxes #2, #6 and #7.  On Tuesday night the owl nicknamed "Allie" caught and cached a mourning dove in Owl Box #2.  Last night she came back to eat it.  The motion detection cameras keep track of the owls so you don't have to stay up all night.  Click here to see recent archives of owl activity.

Now that Winter is ending, things are about to get very interesting.  Eastern screech-owls nest in March.  Will they nest in one of the boxes?

Click here or on the image above to watch PixController's Eastern Screech-owl Live Webcams.  You can also follow PixController on Facebook where Bill Powers posts the day's best photos from his many webcam installations.

(image from PixController.com)

p.s. The owl looks white because of the infrared light.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Screech-owl Roost … and Nest?”

  1. Suzetteon 21 Feb 2013 at 8:12 am

    OWLS. I adore them. Thank you for the links to these amazing “Night Owls” (kind of like me)

  2. Steve-oon 21 Feb 2013 at 9:58 am

    Nice, I’m following them now. Did you see the Western Screech Owl photo from here in Albuquerque? Cute little gal was out getting some sun.


  3. Brenda Sullivanon 21 Feb 2013 at 4:23 pm

    been watching a few month get some update in facebook new to this been watching lily bear clubs and eagle in florida owl in OKL I want to watch whats in here in pa now will the gray mate with a red phase,I watch the cam westmoreland I think 3 cam wildlife and 2 cam jewel and lily and the owls .where do I go for chat? and are they going to have cam live for falcon downtown pittsburgh thank you so much to learn of natures and see nature at its best I have the cam on all day and half the night waiting for something to come along deer racoon turkey birds and a black cat such a joy do we have moderators like other states? fixed income but if I help in any way will if I can thx again for what you do I love nature more than people lol

  4. Ellen Rassigeron 12 Mar 2014 at 10:22 am

    Wondering if you could answer a question for me. We live in a Long Island suburb and have dense Leyland Cypresses surrounding our property. We’ve had a male screech owl hanging around since early December. He disappeared for about 5 days when it warmed up a little, but then was back every day since.

    I did a little research and we put up a nesting box in late February. Two days later, there was a female with him (obviously larger). For a few days we saw both of them on/next to the box (but not inside), then for a week or so, we only saw one or the other. Now they’ve both been gone for a few days.

    Can you tell me if they roost in one place and nest in another? Could they have multiple roosting sites? Of course we were hoping we’d see them nest here.

  5. Kate St. Johnon 12 Mar 2014 at 10:33 am

    Ellen, I’m sure your screech-owls are attracted by both the Leyland Cypresses and the nest box. Cornell’s Birds of North America Online says they switch their favored locations from winter to nesting season. Here is a quote from Birds of North America’s eastern screech-owl information:
    “[Eastern screech-owls] select cavities, nest boxes, or alternatively, evergreens in winter; switch to deciduous trees while nesting, depending on several factors (see below). … Select south- and west-facing sites in winter. Roosts are higher in taller trees. … Nesting male selects mostly dense deciduous-tree foliage 4 m high to 10 m high; sometimes uses vine tangles or limbs next to tree trunks. Male roosts within 6 m of incubating female, moves to within 4 m upon hatching, also closer in afternoon than in morning. Male changes roosts 1–4 times/day to avoid sun, wind, mobbing birds, but not rain. When young fledge, female roosts farther from any remaining nestlings but closer to fledglings than her mate.”

  6. Laurelon 01 Apr 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I put up two WSO nest boxes and immediately had visitors at both boxes. About 6 weeks ago i installed a web cam and found a courting pair visiting the nest box every evening usually 2-3 times. The male would call the female, both would take turns fluffing around the nest material. Then about 3 weeks ago they vanished. I am hoping they return to nest. There is evidence in the yard of their presence, but they have not been back inside the box. We are in AZ and I believe they should be very close to nesting. Anyone with any experience with Western Screech Owls in AZ, I’d love to hear from you about the dates they nest and whether is is normal for them to vanish like this.

  7. Kate St. Johnon 01 Apr 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Laurel, it is normal for birds to repeatedly visit several nest locations before they make up their minds. It sounds like your pair choose one of their other options.

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