Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Screech conclusions

Last night at 5:40 the first of the West Drive screech-owls flew out of the roost hole. Flying low over the car road he headed west towards the park boundary wall. Almost immediately, even before the owl-followers could locate him, he caught something. He was spotted on a nearby branch minutes later, at about 5:44 or so, holding unidentified prey [almost certainly a mouse] in his talons.

Here is the exciting part: he did not proceed to break his long day's fast by devouring that caught critter. Instead, we saw him transfer the now-dead prey to his beak [the talons having done their job of killing] and head with it right back to the West Drive roost hole.

He flew out a minute or two after he entered, empty-beaked. Our solid conclusion: he was feeding a female in that hole. And why didn't she fly out and get her own dinner, as she has been seen to do on other occasions? Our equally solid conclusion: she was sitting on eggs down there.