Red Owl Lays Eggs

April 29, 2014

By Mike Coll, Preserve Manager

About two weeks after the Red morph Screech Owl first arrived at the box she began laying eggs.

Photo: Mike Coll

Screech Owls generally lay a clutch of two to six eggs at a pace of one egg every other day. As of yesterday when this video was taken she has laid three eggs.

So far both owls have continued to stay in the box during the days. As night falls the male owl leaves the box to hunt and periodically returns to feed the female, who spends most of the night incubating the eggs.  In the video it seems like the male feeds her something small like an insect, but on other occasions he has returned with mice or frogs from the nearby wetlands. The female does leave the box occasionally during the night, possibly to get a drink of water or stretch her wings, but she is never gone for more than about 20 minutes.

Screech owls incubate their eggs for approximately four weeks before they hatch. If this holds true, the young owls should emerge during the third week of May.