Friday, February 11, 2011
The camera is mounted at the back of the box pointing at the opening so you can see what comes in. If she turns around, then you can see her front but for most of the incubation period, it's just the back of her head but the real fun is what Ned brings her. While she sits on the eggs, it's Ned job to feed her. Ned has spent the last month courting Nellie and that's why we've heard so much hooting and hollering. The barred owl call is "Who cooks for you." and for the most part they are saying, "I am here. Where are you?" or "I am here. Where's my damn dinner?" Dr. Rob has been giving Ned free mice for the past several days (he puts live mice on a platform, whistles like a wounded mouse, and Ned is pretty quick to get a free meal). Twice we have seen Ned grab the mouse and land on a nearby limb. Nellie then comes to him and he sweetly puts the rodent in her mouth. You can guess what happens next. Sometimes she gets a chance to eat the mouse first. In the next day or two, Rob will set up a trap for Ned to catch him (there are no free mice) and put a radio transmitter on him so he can track his whereabouts.
Several times tonight, Nellie has gone into the box and checked it out making sure it is ready for the month of incubation. She sits in different places to see how they feel. Rob has hooked us up with a motion activated infra-red camera so that when she perches on the ledge, the camera starts. We have an sd card that captures the images and we can download those to a computer. This is what she looks like when she is giving you the stink eye.