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nest box time lapse.

December 13, 2020

Eastern Screech Owls live in our region year round. A cavity-nesting species, they readily take up residence in man-made nest boxes like the ones in-stalled at our Harold N. Peek and Burden Hill Forest Preserves in New Jersey. This series of photos taken by staff member Steve Eisenhauer document the two-month period during which female owls lay and incubate eggs and rear the young until they fledge.

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

April 9, 2020 Screech owls don’t build a nest; they settle into whatever debris is in the nest box. Boxes are often used year after year by the same monogamous pair.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

April 15, 2020 Given their size—about that of an American Robin—Screech Owl eggs are rather large. A standard clutch is two to six eggs.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

April 21, 2020 Mama owl has a tasty mouse ready for her babies, which are visible as a bit of white fluff beneath her. The male owl brings food to the female and babies.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

April 27, 2020 After a rainy night, the owl family will feast on a frog for break-fast. Screech owls will cache several days’ worth of food when prey is plentiful.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

April 30,2020 Though they’ve grown quickly, the owlets still have their fuzzy down rather than smooth flight feathers.The owlets are almost adult sized at this stage.Just about a day or two from fledging, these young owls will depend on food from their parents for many weeks after.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

May 10, 2020 The owlets are almost adult sized at this stage.

 

Photo: Steve Eisenhauer

May 15, 2020 Just about a day or two from fledging, these young owls will depend on food from their parents for many weeks after leaving the nest box until they gain hunting skills.

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