We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Heard a Screech Owl calling early in the morning last week. I hope he finds the nest box I put up. They didn't find it last year.
The tiny Screech Owl lives across America, as long as there are plenty of trees around. If you want to attract a family of them to live at your place, put up a nest box for them. They do not mind living in suburban areas. I recently learned that they are breeding in New York's Central Park.
Now would be the time to do it. The box pictured is from Best Nest.
It's important to place the box correctly. The natural cavities that screech owls choose are typically 12 to 20 feet above the ground and in deep shade. As the female incubates the eggs, the male is apt to spend the day roosting in dense foliage within about 20 feet of the nest. After you've placed an inch or so of dried leaves in the bottom of the nest, hang it at least 10 feet up on the trunk of a large tree. Try to place it away from sidewalks or doors, since the owls vigorously defend their nests against perceived threats. In fact, when the young are near fledging, some unusually spunky adults may swoop down at people or pets who wander too close, even raking them with their claws. So while placing the box in as secluded a spot as possible is good for the owls, it might be better for us, too.
I greatly enjoy hearing them at night. A Great Horned Owl hooting had done the same to me a few weeks earlier. Good stuff. The mysterious world of the night.
No kidding they'll live in suburban areas - even more in-between semi-urban areas. Head one in the Candler Park area of Atlanta, hiding somewhere in a stand of bamboo behind my apartment building. I was so surprised to hear one there, it took me a second to figure out what it was.
Weaver, they do have a call that's a sort of fast tremulous whinny. It's not the only one they got, though none of them are really a "screech".
Exactly! First thing I thought when I saw that bird house was how much the grey squirrels would love it. I put one up a while back and next thing I knew the squirrels had gnawed the entrance out to the proper size and had moved in.
I have no doubt that if a bird had established domicile there they'd have been evicted or worse. Saw the bastids trash a bluejay nest once - a coordinated attack no less.