One of the many children activities at the annual Clearwater/St Petersburg birding festival held each October, is nest box building. Austin and I attended last fall and he helped me build and subsequently hang a Screech Owl box in our back yard. I was very excited to discover last night that the local Screech Owl pair has found and is using our nest box!
We were having a little impromptu barbecue, and there were kids on the Trampoline, kids on the swing set (which is right below the box), and the adults were listening to music and shooting hoops on our portable backboard. A Screech Owl trilled from the pepper bushes surrounding my yard and I was telling all that the owls wanted to join in when I saw the gray head emerge from the box. I said, "Austin, look at your nest box, there's a Screech Owl in it!" He was very excited and began shouting, "Mama, huwee! There's a Screech Owl in my box, huwee, Mama!"
Hopefully these birds will remain and give father and son a great opportunity for wildlife adventuring right in our own backyard. I'd also like to thank the members of the Pinellas County Environmental Foundation for donating these kits. Their contributions are very appreciated by one family (human) and I would like to report at least one potentially successful homestead here in Charlotte County!
Good Birding,
Jeff Bouton
Port Charlotte, FL
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