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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ned was preoccupied

Dr. Rob came tonight to try to catch Ned with a different strategy. Since owls are territorial and mate for life, they do not take kindly to other male suitors. So, Rob put out a life-like stuffed owl surrounded but a net that would capture Ned when he went after this scoundrel invading his territory and trying to woo his woman. Ned hooted and took some dives but never came close enough for capture. Rob took the stuffed owl away and then put up the platform with the mouse which almost always catches Ned's interest. Ned was too busy congratulating himself for scaring off the competition and Nellie was actually pretty impressed with her man. They cavorted back and forth for a while ("HOOO the owl?! Huh? Huh? HOOO the owl now, woman?" "Oh, Ned. You the only Hooter for me.") and then we saw the cigarette smoke. You would have thought he would have been hungry but for some reason, he had no interest. He was resting on his laurels. Since Ned has been hard to catch, Rob is going to concentrate on some other pairs (he has about 20 that he's watching). He will come back when Nellie is sitting on the nest and possibly bring a live owl from the Raptor Center and bring in some real competition. As much activity as there as been, Nellie may be looking forward to getting some rest in the box. She should be laying eggs any time now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nellie checks out her owl box

Nellie has checked out her box to make sure everything was in order. They are still in their courtship stage. Around dusk every night, as they wake up for breakfast you can hear them hooting back and forth to each other. "Good morning, dear." "I feel like sparrow this morning." Tonight, Ned was up early and hunting around Moravian Lane. You can usually tell they are around because cardinals are the first ones to alert the other birds that they need to watch their backs. We anticipate that any day now, Nellie will begin the month-long haul of sitting on her eggs. Tomorrow night Dr. Rob will be by around 6:15 to try and catch Ned to put the radio transmitter on. So any of you locals are welcome to stop by for that. Come in by the back door as the cage will be set up in the front. For those of you that "tweet," you can follow Dr. Rob (what ornithologist would NOT tweet?) on Twitter at "ospreytrax"