Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Wings of Pearl - Part Two

This is Part Two of the Avimor Birding Blog special presentation of "On Wings of Pearl" written by my friend Michael Wiegand. Part One was posted yesterday, but you can click here to get yourself up to speed.


A Tale of Patience and Perseverance
by Michael Wiegand (2008)

...the patience applies to one species and the perseverance to can be the judge of it all !

..a while back, you may recall, a certain western screech owl loved to sit/roost in a big ole nesting box (the penthouse) in my yard ... a penthouse made for much larger owls...barred owls specifically...(barred owls nest in the Pacific Northwest and occasionally pass through the interior mountain area we hope to see them expand into and breed in over time)...and once upon a time a barred owl visited my yard for a spell and it just so happened that a barred owl box was available so I put it up...

that became a mistake over time as first the screech owls and then the barn owls failed in their attempts to fledge owlets from that box...the steward of this here land recognized his error in judgment and took the barred owl box down (no takers of that species in two years) and replaced it with a more appropriate screech owl box...

the following Labor Day (2007), right on schedule Mrs. Screech Owl returned...she wasn't real thrilled with her new digs...even though it was in the exact same spot!...she checked it out a couple of times but I never saw her use it again that autumn progressed into winter I would see and hear her and her mate throughout the yard at dusk as I was filling the feeders but I would never see her in one of the yard nesting boxes as is typical as courtship ensues... winter turned to spring and no sign of the owls nesting anywhere that I would expect... then one evening, as I was broadcasting cracked corn outside the back fence for the quail, I thought I saw some movement in the Lonely Kestrel canyon box...I went inside and grabbed a pair of binoculars and starring right back at me out of the kestrel box was a young screech owl...with another one jockeying for position right next to him/her! how could that be !?! well while I was preoccupied with the interior yard nesting boxes momma screech owl chose one a little more remote...but what would the kestrels think of that?
...apparently not much! for over the next couple of weeks, as I eagerly anticipated the the fledging of the little owlets, I rarely saw the kestrels...I thought maybe they decided to set up shop elsewhere...little did I know what their real plan was...

it was almost summer before the little owlets fledged...I was hedging my bet that momma screech owl would take them down to the creek because of its close proximity to the nesting box but she fooled me again...instead, much to my delight, she brought them all into the yard where I had numerous opportunities to get to know all four of them before she moved them out to the riparian area later was always the greatest hide and seek game when I would return home from work to see where they would be next...they moved all over the yard during their several week hunting apprenticeship often times together as a group or paired up...sometimes alone. So once again I had been blessed with a great happening in my own yard.

so what were the kestrels up to??? waiting for their home to be vacated that's what! ...within a couple days of the owlets moving out and into the yard the Lonely Kestrel had reclaimed her box...back came her mate and courtship July she was on eggs and in August, a full two months later than normal, she fledged three young falcons...and like every year in the past they came into the yard to steady their legs and gain flight stregnth in their wings where I was able to enjoy their company for a bit before the pushed off and began hunting the surrounding area with their parents.

and there you have it ... a tale of perseverance and patience and two birds of prey sharing a common home for two new families!

No comments:

Post a Comment