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