Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcome back Mr. & Mrs B

Welcome back to our 2014 nesting season. Its been a long summer waiting for Mr. & Mrs B to return to begin another family of owlets.

Our first egg has been spotted in the nest on 12/30/13. Eggs are likely laid every 2 to 3 days and incubation begins with the first egg laid. Incubation period is 28-33 days. Barred owls usually lay 1-4 eggs. The Male brings food to the female while she is on the nest. The Barred Owl is single-brooded (1 clutch per yr) but has a long breeding season, which allows for laying of replacement clutches if the first clutch or brood is lost.



Hunting & Food: A very opportunistic hunter, a Barred Owl can sometimes be seen hunting before dark. This typically occurs during the nesting season or on dark and cloudy days. A Barred Owl will use a perch, from where it dives upon its prey - meadow voles are its main prey, followed by shrews and deer mice. Other mammals include rats, squirrels, young rabbits, bats, moles, opossums, mink, and weasels. Birds are taken occasionally, including woodpeckers, grouse, quail, jays, blackbirds, and pigeons. They also eats small fish, turtles, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish, scorpions, beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. Birds are taken as they settle into nocturnal roosts, because they cannot catch birds on the wing. They will also swoop down to the water's edge to catch frogs, other amphibians, and occasionally fish. Barred Owls are attracted to campfires and lights where they forage for large insects. Prey is usually devoured on the spot. Larger prey is carried to a feeding perch and torn apart before eating.