A few days ago I reported noting Screech Owls in the box in my backyard
after being up after being up 4 months! I went out the following evening to
see if it were a fluke and at 7:00 PM (almost to the minute) the owl popped
its head out for 3-4 minutes and finally dropped into the pepper bushes
below. I was unable to check the last 2 evenings and then tonight went out
at 6:45 with my camcorder and waited. As before a quiet trill from the
pepper bushes clued me to be ready, and within moments the female owl's
head emerged through the hole. As I was adjusting the focus, the male owl
came in and clung to the edge of the box with a tree frog of sorts in its
bill. The two sat there as the female eye-balled me for 20 seconds before
accepting the quarry. The male disappeared immediately, but the female
remained motionless at the hole for 3-4 more minutes before finally
retreating back into the hole with the frog.

From my experience with other raptors and from the other two times I
observed this owl (where she would drop directly into the bushes) I assumed
this meant there were newly hatched young in the box. It has been my
experience that raptors will not bring prey into the nest or cavity until
there are young to feed. At any rate, if my assumptions are correct, It
won't be too much longer before I have Mom and/or some of the fuzzies
hanging out in the hole all day. If I can figure out how to do a video
still, I'll try and post a shot.

Good Birding,

Jeff Bouton
Port Charlotte, FL
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PS - anyone want to see a Screech Owl?.....

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