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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Still hope

Well, the good news is that we have seen and heard owls in the neighborhood.  On Hermitage Court, there is apparently some fraternizing going on based on the monkey type of hooting. Tonight, we heard two owls near our back yard.

I have the antenna and twice have gone out with my owl partner Walker to try and find Ned.  Remember Ned has a transmitter.  His frequency is 713 so we set the radio to that,put the antenna on the roof of the car, and off we go (there is also a hand held antenna that Walker has used to walk around Ned's usual hangouts).  If we come across Ned, the radio starts beeping.  Even if the transmitter is down (euphemism), the antenna can still detect it.  We have had no luck. Nor have I had any luck with the whistle and free mouse (both Ned and Nellie are trained to the whistle).

If one of the owls is gone, then the other one will find another mate quickly.  So it could be that they are out of their territory looking for a mate, and will simply start nesting later. If it gets to be more than another week or so, they will likely skip this year.

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE:I was just informed that another possibility of why we are not finding Ned is that the battery in his transmitter is dead.  It is two years old.  Dr. Rob is coming to Charlotte (now he is into ospreys, he can't let go of his barred owls) the second week in April to check up on his owls and do some banding and hopefully catch Ned to replace the battery.

So for you locals, keep looking up in the trees for nesting sites. Due to the time change, they are often out when it is still light and the male will have to feed the female if she is sitting on her eggs.  The next time we will have a chance to find them is going to be mid-April when they the fledglings owlets are out of the nest and crying for food.
The photo is of Hermione being banded in 2010.

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