This is what happens on Sunday nights when we feed the owls. A big thank you to Christina Markey for videotaping Nellie grabbing the mouse. You will hear Dr. Bierregaard's recorded whistle that he used to train the owls to come to the mouse. At 26 seconds, Nellie appears on the willow oak tree and after Alina Bartlett moves her head, you will see Nellie grab the mouse and take it to a nearby magnolia to eat in peace. Note-not for the faint of heart...It is the circle of life and the mouse had a wonderful meal before hand.
Nellie has checked out the nesting box 3 times now so we think the time is getting near for her to start sitting on eggs. We think it is Nellie rather then Ned coming into the box because this owl seems bigger, does not have an antenna transmitter, and perches and jumps in the box differently. We are going to feed Nellie a mouse tonight just to further encourage her to choose the nesting site that Ned has recommended. What's the big deal? The really fun part comes when the babies come out of the box (probably in April) and we get to watch them learn to fly and hunt for food. See above. Plus, when they are in the box, we get to see them grow and feed and play. I will be posting videos soon and Ned and Nellie checking out their (hopefully) new home.