Nesting

Coralee & Brian repaired our Eastern Bluebird nest box this weekend & also built a nest box for an Eastern Screech-owl. The kids have spotted our female red-morph Eastern Screech-owl a couple times in the cedar trees beside the creek since my initial posting about our owl pair. Coralee has been collecting owl pellets from below their roosting spots for about a week. I think she plans to dissect the pellets soon.  Lots of fun to be had for a budding scientist!

Brian hung the owl box last night, but I think we need to move it as it is supposed to be near a branch for the young to climb upon when they begin to fledge.  We just placed it on the sturdiest tree near their roost site.  I’m not particularly optimistic about the owls using the box this year, but hopefully they will next year.  I think we just put it up too late.

Bluebird nest box.

Our Bluebird nest box.

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Coralee & her homemade Screech-owl nest box (also works for American Kestrels & Buffleheads).

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Our house & the new Screech-owl house.

Our house & the new Screech-owl house.

Cedar trees beyond the box where the owls have been roosting.

Cedar trees beyond the box where the owls have been roosting.

Within a few hours of cleaning out last year’s {unfortunate} wren nest from the bluebird box & giving the box a new lid, a group of bluebirds showed up! This was our yard’s FOY Eastern Bluebird (first of the year). Did the birds show up because we spruced up the box or did we spruce up the box because we somehow sensed the birds were about to arrive? A thought to ponder…like the tree falling in the forest.

We spotted two mating pairs & from our observations with the scope; the pairs were squirmishing over the box.  I hope one of the pairs was the victor.  We are planning to build a couple more boxes this year–need to get on that endeavor soon, I guess!  We have not seen any bluebirds today, but the weather has gone from spring sunshine & warmth to dreary wet cold rain sleet snow YUCK.  I hope these bluebirds were a sign spring is truly here & today is just a momentary weather hiccup!

©Coralee Bodeker

 ©Coralee Bodeker

©Coralee Bodeker

Male Eastern Bluebird, Benton County, IA;  ©Coralee Bodeker

Male Eastern Bluebird, Benton County, IA; ©Coralee Bodeker

Nest box plans for Eastern Bluebirds.
Nest box plans for Eastern Screech-owls.

Do you put up nest boxes in your yard?

Sidenote: Coralee & I have now found TWO Bald Eagle nests in our county to monitor!  Benton County represent!

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15 thoughts on “Nesting

  1. You make me want to figure out what birds we have around us. There are some owls in the barn and something keeps buzzing low past our chickens and scaring the life out of them… its definitely a bird of prey and not a turkey vulture (the chickens aren’t really bothered by scavengers) but none of us have gotten a good enough look at it to know. My guess is it would only take us turning loose one of the rabbits to get a better look. :0

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    • I bet a loose rabbit would do the trick! We have had juvenile hawks in our yard before taking chickens. They don’t scare easily, either, and I am guessing it is because they are young & inexperienced? In any case, it always makes my children very sad to lose a member of their flock…but I figure that’s why we have so many chickens, we can afford to lose some to Nature. 🙂

      Owls in your barn? That’s awesome! Do you have Barn Owls in N CA?

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      • Yes a rabbit probably would! Would the hawk get used to finding a fresh easy meal in our chicken run though?
        There is at least 1barn owl. There had been two at one point (maybe breeding? ) but we saw one dead on the road not very long ago. And then about 2 miles up the road I see a spotted owl periodically. They are beautiful. X

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      • A Spotted Owl?! My daughter would love love love to see one of those. She’s been fascinated by owls ever since we traveled to see the Snowy Owl in February. Hope all is well with your rabbits and chickens!

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    • Awe, thanks, Leigh. Nothing new to report yet…Coralee continues to find lots of owl pellets, though, and I think she needs to find a storage solution outside of my home. 😉

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  2. What a wonderful way to spend the day together helping your feathered friends. Yes we built lots of blue bird houses and put them on our fence-it was great housing for wasps!
    Neat to see your Eastern Blue bird our Western Blue birds arrived a few weeks ago.
    xo

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    • Oh no! Wasps are not fun. We often find ants and mice in the boxes. I do NOT like having to turn mice out. Fleeing mice scare the tar out of me for some reason. Swallows nest in there a lot, too. I would love to see a Western BB. The far western part of Iowa is on the fringes of a lot of western birds’ eastern ranges. It’s neat how close we are in Iowa to two different birding “worlds.” I hope you find success this year with your bluebird boxes, Camilla! xx

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  3. I have been very behind on blog reading, but was so happy to catch up on yours! I just love reading it! I could comment on every post, but I will keep it together and try to just comment on new ones. 🙂 (I will say, however, that I don’t believe winter is exactly being washed away at the moment as it is raining ice pellets)

    I also need to comment that I’m very jealous of your screech owls. I’ve actually never seen one!

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    • Hello Sarah! I have been in a social-media-drought lately here myself and haven’t been keeping up on anything…sometimes I just get that way…hard to crawl back out. Thank you for visiting my blog–I need to get over to yours! Coralee is outside in the rain right now trying to check on the Screech-owls once more before the tree cover makes it completely impossible from the yard…she dissected pellets last week and has been trying to piece together all the bones properly this week.

      I’m still completely jealous of the Snowy Owls so close to you house this winter and last! 🙂

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      • I totally understand. I think sometimes we all need to step away and be left to our own thoughts for a while.

        We actually found a couple owl pellets a couple weeks ago up at my parents’ house. Not sure what kind of owl they are from. Haven’t quite made it to dissection yet though. Waiting for a rainy day, I suppose!

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    • Lots of hugs back at you, Leigh! Thank you so much for stopping by–MUCH appreciated. Warms my heart, actually. I don’t know, I’m just in a rut…hope to make my way out soon…I’m trying. Heading over to your blog now–I miss your light-filled posts and photographs. xox

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