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Eastern Screech Owl Cam 2017
Austin Texas
Otus Asio
Length 8-10" Wingspan 18-24"


Send Questions and Comments to tim@ylwstone.com



Daily Reports
4/26/2017    I got up this morning at 5:00am and turned on the recorder. The female left the box at
5:47am and returned 15 minutes later. The Male then showed up and fed her a gecko at 6:06am.
She remained in the box for the rest of the daylight hours.
In the evening the male flew around the backyard hunting from the back fence at about 8:12pm.
It was very winding tonight so the fence was probably a solid perch to hunt from.
He flew up to the box at 8:25pm and the two owls left together.
The male looked in at 9:00 and the female returned at 9:05. The male then fed her at 9:33, 9:49, 10:26 and 10:49 mostly bugs but at least one gecko.
No sign of the intruder tonight once again.
Video of the female leaving the box in the morning, returning and being fed a gecko.
Also leaving and returning in the evening and being fed a number of times including bugs and a gecko.
Another short video from outside of the male showing up and the two owls leaving together.

4/25/2017    So far no sign of the intruder tonight by 9:15.
The male was seen hunting in the yard at 8:02 and the female left at 8:19.
The male looked into the box at 8:40 and the female came back at 8:45.
The male then showed up with a gecko at 9:01 but didn't give it to her.
Why I don't know. There was an airplane flying over, maybe that bothered him.
Video of the female moving into the entrance from outside and then going back in.
Then leaving a little while later.
Another Video of the female moving into the entrance and then dropping back in, then leaving.
The male looks in briefly, the female comes back, the male brings a gecko but doesn't give it to her,

4/24/2017    All seems ok in the owl box today after the evenings excitement. I will be watching tonight to see if the intruder comes back or if the owls change their behaviour in any way. The ground below the box did have some significant feathers from the mother attacking the intruder but that didn't stop it from coming back a little while later.

Evening report- We saw the male and heard him trilling about 10 feet from the box at 8:15 this evening. The female left after dark at 8:29, the male showed up with a bug at 8:37. The intruder from the previous night showed up at 8:53, he looked around the box jumped in scratched around for food and left. His body posture is very different from the other two owls. The male showed up with a gecko at 8:58 so not long after the third owl left and the femle returned at 9:04. Traffic was heavy for a while but no one was there at the same time.
Video from last night of the mother leaving the box just before dark. Another video of the female leaving, the male showing up with a bug, the intruder looking around, the male with a gecko, and the female returning.

4/23/2017    We had an eventful night tonight. First all went according to schedule. Starlings looked in the box during the day, then the male showed up with no food just as it was starting to get dark and the female left almost immediately with him. She then returned and the male fed her a gecko. Later a third owl showed up and looked into the box. The female appeared to be scared and retreated away from the entrance, showing that it was not her mate. The intruder stayed quite a while and finally the female chased it away, with her leaving the box as well. The intruder came back and went into the box, rooting around on the floor looking for food. It finally left and the female returned a bit later to sit on her unharmed eggs.
Video of starlings looking in the box, the male showing up with nothing,
the two owls leaving then the female returning and the male feeding her a gecko. Also a video of the third owl showing up, checking out the box the female retreating then chasing the intruder away,
the intruder coming into the box and poking around on the bottom and then leaving.
The female returns to sit on the eggs.

4/23/2017    Not a lot of seen action last night. The male brought the female a snake and she left for her break immediately after. She then returned fairly quickly. To attract the owls to our yard I keep the backyard birdbath filled with water every night. This is especially helpful during the hot dry summer months in central Texas. If we watch in the very early morning or just after dark in the evening we can often see the owls come and take a drink. I raise the birdbath base about 20 inches off the ground with 12-inch square cement pavers to help guard against cat predation.
Video of the male bringing the female a snake.
She then leaves and returns to settle back in on the eggs.

4/22/2017    We had a bit of a kerfuffle last night. The male showed up about 7:40 when it was still very light out and he landed on the owl box perch to check on the female. Almost immediately a blue jay showed up calling loudly in aggression apparently with a nest close by. The male owl dove into the box for protection and stayed there for only a few seconds. He then took off with the blue jays in pursuit. We could hear the blue jays calling for a while afterwards. The female remained in the box much later than she usually does for her evening break.
Video of the female moving around, jumping up into the entrance, being fed by the male while sitting in the entrance,
and then leaving for her evening break. The female then returning and the male bringing a bug for her.

4/21/2017    We had a scare last night. The female left for her typical evening break and did not return immediately. The male came looking for her and seemed confused when she was not there so we were very relieved when she finally came back about three hours later. We see their patterns of behavior and think they will follow that every night but that is not the case. The previous female was killed by a cat just a few months before the nesting season which is why we have a yearling this year (we believe). I try to keep my yard cat-free by shutting all my gates but that is no guarantee, and, of course, they hunt in the neighbors yards as well. Christine's owls hunt birds mostly so that probably keeps them in the trees while mine hunt geckos and bugs which puts them on the ground, open to cat predation.
Video of the female moving around, sitting in the entrance, coming back in and then leaving for her evening break. The male looking for her in the box during her abscence, bringing a bug for her.

4/20/2017    The female continues to sit on the eggs and the male continues to feed her. Sometimes he shows up immediately in the evening and other times he comes much later. Once he shows up he usually feeds her a few times in a row. There are occasions late at night when he almost appears to need to convince her to take the food, she just appears full.
Video of the female leaving for her evening break from the outside of the box.

4/18/2017    We had a starling look into the box today at 11:37am. The female usually just looks up and doesn't do anything. The intruders usually see her in there and leave fairly quickly. They look for places to have a nest and (as they did this year)they take nest material out of the box for their own nests. They removed about half the nesting material I put in the box this year.
I got a shot of both the male and the female outside the box this evening. It was very dark when the images were taken(about 8:30).

4/17/2017    We had our usual characters look into the box today during the daylight hours including a starling at 10:07am and a red-bellied woodpecker at 11:53. There is always competition for good homes in urban areas which is why the little owls will find a spot to nest and stay in there for sometimes months before laying eggs just to guard against squatters. The biggest threat is from squirrels which we fought for years with boxes attached to trees. We have watched a few squirrel families grow up in our owl boxes - they unfortunately have a tendancy to chew up camera wiring. Now with the box on a pole and a slick - no climb stove pipe attached the main worry is from nesting starlings. Tonight things happened quickly. The female left at 8:04 and the male arrived at 8:10. Just after he left at 8:11 the female came back. She was then fed at 8:12, 8:14, 8:16, 8:18, 8:19, 8:25 and 8:29 - all were bugs.
Video of the female leaving for her evening break, the male looking in,
the female returning and finally the female being fed a number of bugs.

4/16/2017    We still have not seen the owls bring in a rodent or bird yet. Perhaps when the owlets are growing the parents will go for something more substantial. Tonight the female crawled into the entrance at 8:05 staying for a while but then went back in to sit on the eggs. The male was seen at the back of the property flying around at 8:11, just as it was getting dark. The female then left the box at 8:18. The male showed up at the box at 8:22 with a bug to feed her, he looked around and left. Both owls were then seen hunting in the backyard, flying into the the trees to low branches and then diving to the ground for prey. They sat together on the birdbath for a while and then resumed hunting until 8:31 when the female returned to the box. The male showed up at 8:55 for the first feeding with a gecko and later with three more geckos at 9:33, 10:04, and 10:31.
Video of the female sitting in the hole, coming back inside, then leaving for her evening break,
the male looking in, the female returning and finally the female being fed two geckos.

4/15/2017    The male was not seen for a while this evening. We've had this before but it's always a worry because they seem to follow definite routines each night. He finally showed up and fed the female at 10:15, 10:52, 10:57, 11:02 and 11:41. All feedings appeared to be bugs so maybe he tried to get geckos and had no luck early in the evening and decided to change his quarry.
Video of the female leaving,returning and being fed twice.

4/14/2017    We had our first egg on the 4th of April and our eggs have historically hatched in about 28 days so that puts us to May 2nd to see the first owlet. Then they take about 28 days to fledge so that would be on the 30th of May. These times can vary a great deal but are pretty typical for us. Considering there are only 3 eggs (we usually have 5) that would mean each owlet gets more food than usual which could speed the process up a little. Urban existance is tough on the little screech owls though and sometimes the owls loose a clutch but hopefully all will go well. We have had great luck in the past.
4/13/2017    All is on schedule in the owlbox. The days are not too warm yet which helps because the enclosed box can get hot. The female's tail feathers are shorter than most owls we have seen, leading us to believe she is a yearling. Yearlings typically have smaller clutches.
I watched the female leave tonight at about 8:15 taking a picture of her in the entrance from outside. She disappeared for a while and then came back to the bird bath just below the box. The male showed up a minute later. They drank some water, and the male flew up and looked in the box. He then flew back down to her and after a few minutes they left one after the other for the back of the property.
She returned about 8:25 and settled back in on the eggs. The male quickly fed her at 8:45 and 8:50. She also had food delivered in the form of a bug and a gecko at 9:23 and 10:11.
Videos of the female sitting in the box chirping, the female leaving and returning for the night.
The male looking in when she was gone, and the male feeding her.


4/12/2017    We were gone for the most part tonight but all seems well in the owlbox. The female does a good job of sitting on the eggs, sometimes one rolls out but she pulls them back under herself after a short while. I believe this is the same male we have had for a while. He is a good hunter but his usual prey appears to be bugs and geckos. This is in contrast to the male in Christine's yard who hunts small birds primarily. Christine's box is full of feathers.
A video of the female adjusting the eggs and settling in over her clutch.
Also the male feeding the female a bug and a snake.


4/11/2017    The female sat on the eggs and slept during the intermittent rain that fell today. In the evening she left the box at 8:11 and returned at 8:21. The male came looking for her and fed her at 8:38. Still three eggs which is a nice amount for a yearling mother. We typically have had 5 eggs but those were with more mature females. The male fed her again at 8:45,9:23 and 11:03. Bugs and geckos again tonight.

Three videos of the male feeding the female and her taking her evening break.
4/10/2017    During the day the female dutifully sat on the eggs looking bored at times. In the evening she left the box at 8:10 and returned at 8:36. The male came looking for her at 8:23 while she was gone. Still three eggs. The male fed her at 8:57,9:21,10:28 and 11:03. Bugs and geckos were on the menu tonight.

Two videos of the male feeding the female.
4/9/2017    Female left the box at 8:15 and returned at 8:34. Still three eggs. The male fed her at 8:52 and 9:32.

A video of the female settling in on her eggs.
4/8/2017    The Female left at 8:11 this evening and when she left three eggs were observed. At 8:15 the male showed up with a gecko for the female. He looked around and left. The female returned at 8:42. She left again at 9:07 and returned at 9:14. The male was observed feeding the female 3 times in the evening the primary food being geckos.
4/7/2017    Still 2 eggs observed. The Female left at 8:08 tonight and returned at 9:26pm
4/5/2017    2 eggs observed. The Female stays in the nest almost continually with only short absences at night.
4/4/2017    Finally today an egg is observed. The Female stays in the nest almost continually but was gone quite a while at night. She left at 8:04 and did not return untill after 11:30. She was there in the morning.
3/31/2017   It's getting pretty late in the season for nesting. Typically the owls nest from the middle of February through the end of March. The Female is a yearling however, and this being her first mating season she may nest up to a week later than mature birds. The owls often are not in the box much now and the nesting season may be over.
3/7/2017   Owls guard box/nest site staying in box during the day except on the warmest days.
1/6/2017    Owl spent first day in box.

A video of the female calling to the male
11/25/2016    Raised new box on a squirrel proof pole.

Back to Christine's Nature Journal


Owl Images

2010 Owlcam Reports

2010 Owlcam Timeline

2012 Timeline Images


Female Owl April 8th 2012


Female Owl April 8th 2012


Images from 2011





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