Welcome to the World Baby Owls!

by Stefani on 30-April-2010

One look at her, and you know. You just KNOW that she’s a mama now.

To catch up:

We put up this little owl house in early February. Just 15 days later, we had our first resident.

About a month afterwards, it became clear that we had a pair of owls – the female roosting in the box and the male patroling the area and making food deliveries. This led us to the conclusion that Mrs. Owl was on the nest.

At this point we saw very little of the owls. There was no more hanging out in the doorway, lazily gazing about. We figured that Mama had gotten down to the serious business of incubating eggs.

Only occasionally did we get (barely visible) glances of papa bringing snakes and moths to his bride.

A little more than a month went by before we had the unusual discovery of one of the owls sitting in a tree in our yard in broad daylight. We weren’t sure if it was the male or female, as they both look very similar.

Did you know that this is an indication that they will both care for and feed the babies? We didn’t, but we know now that In birds where the female is the primary caretaker, the sexes look different. In birds where both will feed the young, they look similar. The thought is that their almost identical appearance makes it easier for hatchlings to feel at ease taking food from both parents.

Not long after this daytime sighting we began to see LOTS of the owls. Mama sits in the doorway almost all day, alert and scanning the yard. Papa is wearing out his wings with all the food deliveries. His visits have picked up considerably.

Poor gal. She looks tired doesn’t she? And rightly so. She’s up all. day. long. It would seem that new baby owls are every bit as demanding as new baby humans. She has the look of a sleep deprived new mama, don’t you think? I’d take her a casserole and offer to watch the little ones while she got a shower and a nap, but I don’t think she’d go for it.

We haven’t seen or heard any babies yet, but we’re hopeful that we’ll get a glimpse soon. Keep all your fingers crossed that we’ll have photos of little grey fuzzballs to share with you!

Happy weekending, friends!

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p.s. Please join Eren and I in welcoming some really exciting new contributors at the Magnifying Glass!

Cassandra April 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

Oh she’s gorgeous! Can’t wait for a glimpse of the babies!

kobey April 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

and you make such scrumptious casseroles too…

Dawn April 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Delurking to say how much I’ve enjoyed your posts on the owls! How lovely of your entire family to just let them be! I’ve been a reader for awhile now and the owls is hands down my favorite bits!

Tai April 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

That is so stinking cool – I want an owl house!!! They are such majestic creatures and make the most wonderful sounds at night! Oh enjoy, enjoy!

kyla April 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

very amazing. we’re building an owl house soon. here’s a webcam i just saw today– live from east austin. three baby screech owls!

kyla April 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm
Visty April 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

How wonderful!! She does look exhausted. How cool would it be if you rigged the box with a webcam next year??

LisaLou April 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm

That is just the coolest thing ever! Your boys are very lucky and my 10 yo boy, who is a bird enthusiast and total owl fanatic, is super jealous! We look at a lot of owl cams on the web! Enjoy your weekend!

Eren April 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

There she is!!!! But I can’t help be feel a bit sorry for her if her mothering and being available for her man owl is anything like the barn owl cam. She’s gonna be one busy gal.

Virginia May 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

Love your owl stories! What fun to witness in your own back yard!

Butzeballchen May 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I did not know that about birds and their caretaking! It is so exciting to see the owls right in your backyard. I predict you will see those babies poke out in a couple more weeks (if you go out late afternoon and make the screech owl noise, you will hear them in the box)!

sarah May 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

what luck and what wonder. envious and can’t wait to see the owlets out on the branch with their mama.

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