It looks like we will have only two eggs this year. Our momma owl has taken to staying home and sitting on them.
The female usually lays an egg every two to three days; once the last egg is laid she starts to incubate them. Before then, she leaves the nest to hunt at night. As soon as she decides that egg production is finished, she stays in the nest box almost all of the time. The male then starts bringing her food.
It is really interesting to note that she does defecate in the nest box. As soon as the sun goes down each evening, she leaves the box to fly to a nearby tree and relieves herself. It is the same tree night after night. The tree used is quite obvious as soon as you look at the ground below it. We call it toilet tree.
Somehow, the female conveys to the male that it is his time to feed her. She does make a whinny type call when she is sitting on the eggs. Maybe that’s how he knows. Here is a recording of the call:
We certainly don’t claim to be experts; most of what we know about the Screech Owls is from observing them for the last several years. We have researched specific questions via the Internet.
A very good book about the habits of birds is on the left. You can purchase it from Amazon.com by clicking the link.
Eggs usually hatch in 26 days or so from the time the first one was laid. We expect to see the newborn chicks about April 24th.
FOG sez: Sure beats waiting nine months for a child.