This season has had its ups and downs. After two seasons with no nesting activity we were overjoyed on January 19th when we spotted mother owl sitting on the old hawk's nest.
The nest is on our property at the top of a 75 foot tall pine. It is about 100 feet from our second story front porch. We were disappointed they did not take advantage of one of our owl boxes.
(Sony Digital Video frames, except owlet close up )
The owlet was first spotted & filmed on 3/3/02.
It seemed intent on going up over the nest rim.
The next day it was no longer visible in the nest.
I found it on the ground next to
the nesting tree. We had a planter/emergency
nest at the ready. I put the Owlet in it after
mounting it near the nest tree, about 12 feet
off the ground.
Mom is very 'low profile' feeding the owlet.
So much so, for a while we thought she had
stopped and we feared the young one was dead.
The above two images were shot 3/16/02.
I think this is Dad bringing the owlet a mouse that was more than he could swallow while balancing on the rim. He eventually hopped down into the 'nest' to eat his prize.
March 28th, about 8:30 pm. I heard a commotion that included dad doing the 'monkey call'. I went out and I could hear the baby hissing, but not from the bucket. It was out with dad on a 'fly about'. It got excited and flew across the yard about 12 feet off the ground. Crashed into a palm tree, not the best tree for landing. It took it several seconds to get itself settled in the tree. I felt as though I was adding stress to the situation so I went back into the house.
Spotted a Fox near the planter nest. Was worried for a while till I spotted the owl.
Located Owlet, 3 am 3/30/02, Not far from planter nest. Dad was off hunting.
3/30/02 10 am:
With vocal hawks in the area, the owlet is trying to get some sleep. It seems to be in the same spot. Dad was nearby, no doubt, also trying to get some sleep.
Sunday 3/31/02 8pm :
The story takes a major turn. The mom owl has been missing for about a week. The male has been hooting almost continuously since she left. A female showed up today. She is not acting like mom. She landed in a tree that is on the other side from the owls normal roosting spot. She landed and stayed there long enough for me to get some video and shoot some stills. She then flew over to the area of the male. I heard some 'monkey sounds' and then an unusual hooting sound.
She had flown into one of our owl nesting boxes. She was making some an unusual hooting sounds. I don't know if the male chased her in or what?

Owlet Hiss click here

Saturday 4/5/02
Most days dad and owlet spend the day close to our home. They tend to move a bit each night (50-100 feet) . I have heard a female hoot off in the distance several times. Dad replies but does not fly off to investigate. Today the female was very close maybe 200 feet. The hawks were also in the area and the whole event climaxed with a 'monkey call'. It just seems to be a way the owls can 'let off steam'.
Wednesday 4/10/02
I went looking for the owlet in the late afternoon. It had continued its trend to move about 50 feet a day. It was about 300 feet from the house in a pine tree. The setting sun was shining on its immature breast. It does not seem bothered by my visits. I suspect if I handed it a mouse we could be 'best friends'.
The adults are a different story. I suspect they are unhappy because I am too close to the owlet. This can be a very dangerous situation, so I always try to gauge their displeasure. In this encounter I did not realize there were two adults, and without me realizing it, one was directly over my head. I only realized it when it let out a 'little hoot'. I gently swung around, got a picture and then excused myself. It seems that the new female is being tolerated.
the adult's 'little hoot' click here
Wednesday 5/15/02
We have not seen much of the owls lately. A few times we have heard the owls in the distance and even seen the adults on several occasions. Tonight we saw the owlet from our porch at sunset. It still spends a lot of time 'hissing' for it's dinner.

Owls don't just hoot! click here

WARNING! Owls are wild animals. They have very sharp talons and can be very protective of their young. They have been known to attack the eyes of people that violate their space. Don't approach any wild animals.