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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Letter from Dr. Rob and the latest on the triplets

Even as babies, their talons are razor sharp for hunting.
I don’t think Rob would mind if I shared his last email with you. It is below.
The triplets are still in Edgehill Park.  Usually Ned or Nellie wake up first around 8-8:30 p.m.and hoot (to say I’m here, where are you?) and they are off hunting.  Around 9, their young are left to try and hunt themselves. They spend a lot of time on the low lying branches around the various groups of pine trees by the tennis courts.  They do a lot of hopping along the ground and swooping back and forth.  Last year with two owls, they were often together side by side.  Having three seems to change that dynamic.  One owlet seems to be the odd one out and whenever he joins the others on a limb, they take off.  He is also the one that seems to cry the most.  It is tough being the youngest.
Drive slow. They will be around for a little while longer before they will need to find their own territory.  Urban owls tend can mate as early as their first year and that will start in December.  If you have a chance this summer, head out to the Raptor Center and see these creatures up close.
Many of you read in the Observer's very nice send off for me
( that I am leaving Charlotte. Sad, but true.
I'm doing my trailing spouse thing again, as my wife got a job up in Philly and I'm heading up Friday morning along with my dog and all the junk that we didn't throw away or put in storage.

Two nights ago we trapped Mrs. Prince over on Rockbrook to take her old, dead-battery transmitter off. She was one of the first young we radio-tagged and we have been following her since 2002! She's feeding
2 babies this summer.

Yesterday we hung the last 2 nest boxes I'll put up and did some maintenance on a couple of boxes.

My last grad student, Jen Bates, will be tracking owls this summer and into the fall, wrapping up our 10-year study. It has been really interesting and fun owl-packed decade.

Thanks to all of you who so graciously let me and my students traipse through your backyards. I meant to come by and personally say goodbye to as many of you as I could. Selling our house and packing up left me time for none of that, sadly, so this will have to do.

Apologies to the rather long list of people I promised to put owl boxes up for and for those of you with email questions still back among the 2,500 emails in my inbox. When I get to Philly I'll try to catch up with that mess.

We're moving to a nice suburban neighborhood just northwest of the city. There's a lovely stream through our soon-to-be new property.
You can rest assured that I'll be putting an owl box up in the yard while the movers are unpacking the van!

All for now. Have to go make another run to Goodwill or the Raptor Center or someplace.



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