I have to tell you that I felt a little gullible when I bought this owl house. How on earth was an owl going to find this ONE little hole on this ONE tree?
The boys had asked and asked though, and we had long looked at Amy’s owls with awe and adoration. Finally, when a birder in our neighborhood confirmed that there were indeed Eastern Screech Owls in our area that readily move into houses, I caved.
Still, I felt pretty certain that it was a long shot at best, and tried to quell the hopes of my young birders just a bit.
Just as soon as the house arrived, Daddy hung it in the tree and then they all watched from the back door, thinking that an owl would surely swoop in at any moment. No.
The next day, before even asking for breakfast, they all rushed to the door, like Christmas morning, fully expecting to see an owl in their box. No.
This went on for days, until eventually we looked a little less, and hoped a LOT less.
Then, one fine evening we walked out the back door, not even thinking about our owl house, and I happened to look up.
Lo and behold, our “Whinny” had taken up housekeeping there. It had been only 15 days since the house was hung. Amazing. How on earth did it know?
Now, everyday, around about 6:30 we watch his/her head poke out. It sits, calmly, groggily, and looks about for 20 minutes or so and then will swoop straight down and out just before hitting the ground. It’s breathtaking.
We all keep saying, “I can’t believe it! A real OWL! Right in our backyard!”
Just as Amy said it would, it has become all owl all the time! It’s a real shame that they emerge just when mamas are trying to get dinner finished. Who can worry about such trivial matters when there is an OWL with lovely yellow eyes staring in the back door? They do so look like they know something that they’re not telling when they look at you with those eyes.
Just two nights ago, we set up the tent in our backyard and had a family camp, in honor of our boy’s birthday. We told stories and made smores and then we all snuggled in, even the dog. We made one big pile, like snakes, for warmth. One by one they all drifted off, all but me. I lay awake for ages, thinking, dreaming, content, and then I heard it…. the sweet soft trill of our owl friend, perched just above our tent. He sang me to sleep with the prettiest little lullaby I’ve ever heard.
Welcome, Whinny. We think you’re grand!
**** Some fun owl resources****
Moon of the Owls – Sadly out of print, but there are still used copies available. This whole “Thirteen Moons” series is amazing. Each one is lyrical and lovely.
Birds of Prey (a Golden Guide) – You know by now how much I love these little guides, right?
Kidwings – virtual owl pellet dissection
Owl Brand Discovery Kits – real pellets for real dissection
Barn Owl Nest Cam – In Italy (Texas, that is) 🙂