And Then There Were Two

by Stefani on 18-March-2010

Owls at BlueYonderRanch.com

Hello, friends! We’re back from our spring hiatus and full of stories to share with you. The long promised spring book list is on its way too, but first… some BIG (to us) news!

We have been watching our owl house very closely. We had read that when our fella found a mate he would move out of the house to a nearby branch. His lady would take up housekeeping while he went about the business of bringing home the bacon (or lizard, as it were). So, each evening we have been anxiously scanning the trees looking for any sign that our owl had found his partner. Each time though, all we saw was his little face emerging from his hole at dusk, sleepily surveying the land.

We would whisper to him, “Whinny! It’s time for a family! You have to go and find a girl!!!”

He didn’t look the slightest bit concerned, while WE, his meddlesome family, lectured him on the urgency of the task at hand.

Then our Whinny began acting very strange. He grew terribly shy, ducking back into his hole each time we came to the window. He had never let us get too close, but this was unheard of caution on his part. Perhaps he was tired of hearing our prying questions, “Are you seeing anyone? What’s she like? Why won’t you bring her home to meet us????”

When he DID emerge he would look about in a sort of frantic, desperate, way, altogether different from the lazy, slow, meandering gaze of his earlier days with us. Was he discontent here? Was he thinking of leaving us? To top things off he was clearly up to SOMETHING in that box of his. We could occasionally see bits of wing, a bobbing head, fast and furious, dancing sort of movements going on in there. If he had a door, I would rap on it and ask, “Young man? Just what ARE you doing in there?”

What had gotten into our owl?

This was the question in all of our minds as we watched his hole yesterday evening. Then all of a sudden it became clear. In a soundless flash of white, an owl, ANOTHER owl, swooped into a nearby branch, clutching a lizard in it’s mouth. It flew over to the owl house, clung to the side and stuffed the lizard into the hole before swooping off again. He did this twice more while we watched, and always in his absence there was the dancing and bobbing around in the house.

Just like that, we knew. Our guy hadn’t changed. All his strange behavior wasn’t HIS behavior at all. For the last day or two, we had been watching an entirely different owl, a GIRL owl!

We’re pretty certain that she’s arranging her nest to her liking with all her dancing and that she will soon have eggs, if she doesn’t already. We could not be more proud of our guy for his diligent care of her, and we could not be more honored to have this sweet pair in residence.

So now we wait, with hopeful hearts, for owlets! I mean you know, no pressure or anything, take your time dear, but… well… now that you’re married and all, where are my grandbabies ?!?!?!

Lisa Clarke March 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

Oh, how fun! I hope they bless you with grand-owl-babies soon 🙂

Cassandra March 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

Oh goodness! This is so terribly exciting and sweet!

Kate March 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

How exciting! And what a treat to be able to watch nature unfold right in your own backyard. I hope you get some pictures!

Stefani March 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

Oh I hope so too! It’s been rather dark lately when they make their move, and she’s so timid that I haven’t been able to get a thing but feathery blurred shots. I really hope that she grows accustomed enough to us to let us her picture!

Virginia March 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

Wow, what a great thing for the kids to observe! So exciting! I just asked my husband if he would make an owl box to help control the rodents around here, lol. I wonder if it’s too late? My daughter just dissected an owl pellet at school, I’m wondering if you would dissect any that you found beneath your owl box. So much to learn and so much fun to be had!

Stefani March 18, 2010 at 10:58 am

We have ordered pellets before for dissection and we thought it was so cool. We’ve also scoured the nearby trees for signs of roosting owls (“whitewashed” trees) in the hopes that we could find some “real” pellets, but never did. We have been searching the ground under our house ever since we put it up, but have yet to find a pellet. I’m guessing that he has an eating spot somewhere else. Now that the female is (hopefully) going to be staying nearer to the nest, maybe we’ll get some pellets?

As for the timing of the house, I hear you can put them up any time of year and will often get residents, but it may be late for a nesting pair. I’m not real sure. Good luck!

Tai March 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Wonderful! Have you heard their magnificent sounds? It is one of the most majestic and beautiful things to hear in the woods! Enjoy!

Brittany March 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

How exciting! I’m on a hunt for an owl box now! Can’t wait to hear updates about this cute pair!

Sarah March 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

What a fun experience for you all! I’m glad to hear your owl has found someone nice and wasn’t just doing the rain dance by his lonesome in the house. You are inspiring me to check into owls in my area. We have a woodpecker that greets me every morning as I load my kids into the car. I love him dearly, but would love an owl friend, too. The more, the merrier, you know?
Keep us posted on those grandbabies. We will want pictures!!!

Anna March 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

yay!

lora March 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

how exciting! i’m so happy for you! 😉 it’s such an amazing adventure you are on with that owl and now his new WIFE! you must me SO proud. Keep us posted. I know you will.

april March 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

oh how exciting. I love love love your blog.
thank you for your blog and your awesome love for your boys.
I have one boy, 3 1/2.

Christina March 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Dah! Too cute! You guys have all the fun.

Mousy Brown March 20, 2010 at 2:21 am

I love this story – can’t wait to hear the next installment! 😀

sarah March 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Take a peek at this wonderful webcam of a barn owl sitting on eggs. I think they are due to hatch in the next few days!

http://www.sportsmansparadiseonline.com/Live_Owl_Nest_Box_Cam.html

Butzeballchen March 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Here is a blog with a screech owl cam right here in Austin. Might give you a little peek into what is going on in your box!
http://gargravarr.cc.utexas.edu/owl/

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