Sunday, January 08, 2006

Screech question and GHO update

Margie Siegel writes:

Various friends and I have been following the ups and down of love in tree hollows. It has been suggested that the female screech has kicked the male out of the hole because she is sitting on eggs. I understand that January is brooding season for Great Horned, but what about small screeches?


That's a nice thought. The usual egg-laying dates for screech owls are towards the end of March, with hatchlings emerging in late April. However all bets are off in Central Park, where a family with three fledglings was discovered in the north part of the park on March 19th, 2005. Counting backwards, then, the eggs that produced those fledglings must have been laid in January!

I hope against hope that your idea is the right one. But a photo Bruce Yolton took yesterday [see below] introduces a gloomy note. The shot is fuzzy, but it shows a squirrel emerging from the hole our romantic gray/red pair used to share. Well, maybe they both moved to the hole up the hill from the Boathouse where the red-phase screech was originally seen...Let's see what the next few weeks reveal.

Anyhow, thanks for writing.
Photo [for documentary purposes] by Bruce Yolton

PS Yesterday was the
Great Horned Owl's 20th day of residence in CP. Looks like he's settling in for the winter. Fly-out was at 5:01pm. The owl sailed off to the west, and was relocated some time later in a tree overlooking the Lake, quite near to Bow Bridge.

Latest update: Jack Meyer reports that the bird was seen early this morning [8 Jan 06] in a tree just next to the one he'd been using as a daytime perch for the last two days.