Monday, March 29, 2010

The Owl Box

Video streaming by Ustream

I know that some of you may already know about the owl box, but for those of you who don't, here's some basic information. The Owl Box is a live streaming (Ustream) of a mother barn owl, named Molly, in San Marcos, California. Her mate is named McGee and he comes around mainly at night and brings the food to her. Don't be alarmed when he gets on top of her as he arrives. They say it is like a hug, just bonding...but I'll let you decide.

She originally laid 6 eggs, but one was infertile, so she ate it. Of the remaining 5 eggs, 4 have hatched. The first was Max, then Pattison, then Austin and now as of 12:02pm pst Sunday, Wesley. One egg to go and thousands of people tuning in to watch. Many of them were camped out all night last night awaiting little Wesley's arrival. (I was not one of them, I went to bed...finally!)

Disclaimer: Warning! Watching The Owl Box is incredibly rewarding and unsuspectingly addicting. I take no responsibility for any such addiction and shall not be held responsible for the information in this post or embedded video stream, leading to such addiction, nor any subsequent job, sleep loss or other negative outcome as a result of viewers and followers watching the link provided herein. :D

(If you want to watch the birds with the chat going on, use the link or the large arrow in the middle of the video screen above this post. To just watch the video stream in the current window, click on the small arrow.)'ve been warned! :D

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nesting Pair of Great Horned Owls

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Had a very cool experience recently, thanks to my wonderful husband. He had noticed a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls in our area, as he was driving one day. He took me back to the site, to see if I could get some photographs of them. It was fun shooting these images as the owls were quite relaxed, in spite of our presence. Several other people stopped to see them while we were there, including a group of cyclists, and they still weren't bothered.

One owl was in the nest the whole time, most likely incubating, and you could only see the ears and every once in a while, the eyes. Too cute! The other owl was sitting perched near the nest, but outside of it. I believe it was the male sitting outside, although both the male and female incubate, because he looked smaller, and the males are smaller than the females and have a deeper voice. They could be sitting on 1-5 eggs. We'll have to be careful when their youngin's arrive as they are very protective parents and could attack us if we get too close. Yikes! Don't want that to happen. Might need a longer lens. :D

I have learned that these owls have a 5-15 year lifespan. They weight 2-5.5 lbs. and have a wingspan of 3.3-5.8 ft. They are carnivores. They eat a variety of animals such as rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, birds, falcons and even other owls. They also have a habit of eating skunks and may be the only animal to have such a desire. Better keep an eye on your domestic animals, too, if there are Great Horned Owls in your area. These owls are mostly nocturnal and hunt at night. They have a wonderful digestive system. They often swallow their prey whole and then the "left-overs", mainly bones & fur, come back up in the form of pellets. You can disect these pellets to see just what they ate for their last meal, if you have a desire to know. LOL Oh, by the way, those are not ears on top of their head, they're feathered tufts.

Hopefully, I'll soon have some owlette images to share! To see more of my Great Horned Owl images, CLICK HERE.

Isaiah 34:13-15 (New Living Translation)
"Thorns will overrun its palaces; nettles and thistles will grow in its forts.The ruins will become a haunt for jackals and a home for owls....Desert animals will mingle there with hyenas, their howls filling the night.Wild goats will bleat at one another among the ruins, and night creatures will come there to rest.There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs. She will hatch her young and cover them with her wings. And the buzzards will come, each one with its mate."

Field Trip Images Update

Here is one of the images from the birding field trip I went on, to Malheur County, Oregon. To view the rest of them, CLICK HERE!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Downy Woodpecker

Saturday, February 27th. 2010, my husband and I went on our first birding field trip with the Southwest Idaho Birders Association. We met at 8am at the Marsing Island Bridge. This was an all day trip to Malheur County, Oregon and the Owyhee River. I will be writing more on this trip, but for now I will just post a few of my favorite photos from the day.

Near the Owyhee Dam, a pair of Downy woodpeckers was spotted among the Mullein plants, near the water of the Owyhee reservoir. This was my first time seeing one of these beautiful little woodpeckers in the wild, and it was quite a thrill. I was able to get pretty close to the male to take these images. The female was a little more flighty and I only got her from further away.

These few images are of the male. The male has a red patch on the back of its head, as you can see in these photos. Enjoy...

To purchase fine art prints of these images, CLICK HERE!
To purchase folded greeting cards of these images, CLICK HERE!


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