Night garden visitors.....

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

I know this isn't the bird forum, but .....

I was out watering my garden beds and it was getting dark. Suddenly, I heard something on the fence and heard this low cooing sound. Looked over and what do ya know...... it was an OWL! Wowee..... I was so excited! So slowly walked back to the house to get my camera. When I came back out it was gone. So went back to finish my watering with camera in hand hoping to see it again. Sure enough, as soon as I got near the fence, it flew back and perched for me....... and posed! LOL!

Boy! Am I ever stoked!!! But wait .... there is more!

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

And then it allowed me to get closer.

I was so thrilled that I couldn't hold the camera still. Sorry this photo is a bit blurry. Cute, isn't it?! :-) :-) :-)

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

It then flew over to the bird feeder. So I walked slowly over to keep from scaring it. And took another photo from below the feeder.

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

But wait ..... here is the kicker......

While I was standing there taking photos of the owl on the bird feeder, I heard more wings flapping. I looked up and saw 2 more owls on my power line just about 8 feet up! They were following each other. One seemed a little unsteady. I think this might have been either sibling owls or mom & dad owl teaching their baby to fly and hunt at night!

Isn't that the coolest thing!!!

I so love going out in my yard at night! Ya just never know what you'll see! Way cool, indeedie!

This message was edited Jun 3, 2007 9:59 PM

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Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

oh how cool Becky. I had one come sit in one of my potted plants on the porch one night at my old home. Think is was after the Sphinx Moth that was there. Funny for living up in the middle of the woods now I haven't heard any owls

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Sweeeeet! They're beautiful!

I hope those little mice see them too!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

AWESOME - I just had to show those pictures to my whole family ... "you know the lady I told you about that is waiting for a humminbird to visit.... well, she has owls!" so fantastic !!! Let us know if you see them again - how great that you got pictures.

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks y'all for enjoying them as much as me! I showed my family the photos and they were all bummed that they didn't come out into the backyard to see them while they were there.

Rox - I noticed when I finished up watering the 3-tiered herb bed that a mouse ran out of it and down along the bottom of the fence to exit. I wonder if the owl saw the mouse in that bed and that is why it was perched on the fence close by. And of course the other 2 came to help! LOL!

That's good. It will help keep the mouse population down. I saw 5 at the feeder a few days ago. Too many for me to feel warm and fuzzy about.

And I don't know if I told y'all, but I found a "body" in the birdie water bowl underneath the feeder a few days ago. I can not be sure what it was. It looked like a rodent, but not sure if it was a mouse or a squirrel. It was plucked bare of fur, except a tuff at the end of it's tail and the head was missing. It was gross! I removed it with a shovel and tossed it over the fence for whatever wanted to eat what was left. Maybe a hawk got it and then accidentally dropped it or an owl. Ah ha! Who knows?!

Edinburg, TX

WOW!!! That is awesome!!! I can't believe you were able to get so many photos and that the other owls joined in.

I hadn't seen an owl for years...but was at the ranch last weekend and Dad told me there was a nest in an old deer blind. Nosy as I am I climbed up the rungs and opened the door to peek inside.

The parents heard me when I was having trouble with the door latch and flew out of the windows so I wasn't able to get a photo of them...but they are white screech owls.

Here's one of the babies...and three eggs. It's not as good looking at yours perched on the fence...that's for sure!!!!

Way too much bird poop and dead rodents in the deer blind...UGH!!! I just took photos from the door while I stood on the rungs. Did not want to get too close. DOUBLE UGH!!!

~ Cat

This message was edited Jun 3, 2007 10:19 PM

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Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

okay, yes alot of ickies, but still nice shot TX~

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Cat - A great shot of their nesting area!!!! The mice look like what I get in my yard at the bird feeder.

Just curious.... I see a baby bird that looks to be a few days old (I can see some fuzz on it, not totally naked) and 3 eggs. I'm surprised the other babies hadn't hatched as well. Could you tell if the eggs were still good?

The teacher I work with said that she had a small nest in her yard on the SIDE of a pine tree. This was earlier in May. She could see a baby bird peeking it's head out. The nest was about 12 feet from the ground. Unfortunately, the baby fell to it's death and the parents left shortly thereafter. My friend was crushed. She had been watching the parents and the nest for weeks with great expectation.

Looking at the spacious nest in the deer blind at the ranch, you certainly don't have to worry about that. Perhaps predators such as raccoons or such, but certainly not being pushed out of the nest by siblings or accidentally falling out. You'll have to climb up there again and take some more photos each weekend. That would be cool to see their progress and growth.

Edinburg, TX

I don't know much about owls but Dad said each egg will hatch a few days or a week after each other. Said by the time the last one has hatched the first is a good enough size to hog all the food....bummer. I didn't check them this past weekend...but will try to remember to take a peak the next. Perhaps by then there'll be three little scrawny looking birds in the nest.

...and yes...way too many dead rodents...the floor of the blind was full of them...UGH!!! Dad said the bird carry some type of insect/bugs akin to dog fleas...but more along the blood sucking beetle family??? I didn't want to get too close - lest I have bugs jumping into my hair! :o)

~ Cat

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Becky I am so thrilled about your owls!!
Cat, That's an amazin nest site.. Did the owl bring those rodents there? or did they kill and bring them there? You were good not to get too close. (eeekers)

:-D

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks, Deb! I haven't seen them return. Probably raised their baby and left. But I do still have mice!!! lol! So maybe they will return!

Palm Harbor, FL(Zone 9b)

Those are a bunch of cool pictures Ladies! Thanks for the peek at your nature!!

Adrienne

Melbourne, FL

Fantastic Becky......I have NEVER seen an owl, let alone three at a time! This certainly helps make up for a lack of hummers.

Mount Laurel, NJ(Zone 7a)

Wow, great owl pics!! The other night I heard fluttering of a larger scale in our large white pine and thought it was probably an owl. We hear them periodically. But I am so blind at night I would never have seen it!...wish I had better night vision!
~D.Wind

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

Becky, what fabulous pictures!! I have seen Great Horned Owls a time or two in my backyard, though it's incredibly rare. I do have bats flitting about every night. Anyhooo, I wonder if your owls like Cuban Tree Frogs? :-)

Carla

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks, y'all! Unfortunately, I haven't seen the owl family since. :-(

Carla - I wish they did eat CTF and would eat every last one!!!!

Edinburg, TX

Here's an update on the owls in the deer blind behind the house at the ranch. One of the chicks is quite big, there is a second much smaller chick that probably hatched last week. I only saw one other egg...although they started out as four. Really didn't look into the nest too closely as it stinks!!! Too much bird poo, bird barf and dead varmits.

~ Cat

Ah...the face only a mother could love :o)

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Edinburg, TX

The second smaller chick in the background.

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Edinburg, TX

The mama or papa owl flying out when I had a friend rattle the deer blind door while I stood ready with camera!

~ Cat

p.s. Am thinking they are barn owls and not white screech owls...I need to check my bird book.

This message was edited Jun 9, 2007 7:42 PM

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Melbourne, FL

Owl-mazing shots!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

WIOW !!!! those are amazing pictures, thanks for sharing, ... wow they get much prettier as they grow up!

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Cat - Those photos are awesome! What a great opportunity to peek into the lives of owls! Boy! What luck!!!! Thanks for going back and taking more photos! I hope you are able to continue doing that until the babies fly the coop! They'll probably come back next year and do it all over again! :-)

Marlton, NJ

Wow, all amazing pics, I truly mean it.

In the future would you possibly consider posting these types of pics at the Bird Watching Forum? Its been quite slow over there lately and those folks would also apprecite seeing them. Thank You.

Again, great pics!

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Great pics Cat!

I'm surprised the nest is so dirty. Whenever I open my birdhouses after the babies are gone, it's very clean and tidy.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Fantastic pictures. Thanks for showing them. : )

Edinburg, TX

Ohhhhhh...that deer blind is filthy!!! Guess since it's closed up with only that window partially opened and the young chicks too small to fly - all the food the parents bring in has to get pooped out :o) I didn't see as many varmits in there this time...am assuming the bigger chick now eats the whole thing. If they were in a nest in a tree then the poop and varmit remnants would most likely get pushed out of the nest...but with the deer blind...it doesn't have anywhere to go but the floor.

Will try to take updated photos each weekend I go out there.

~ Cat

Westchester, IL(Zone 5b)

Cat, yep, you've got Barn Owls. The 1st pic of the bigger baby is hilarious! It doesn't even look like a bird, it looks like a monkey or Sasquatch, LOL! Don't the wings look like long arms? LOL! Thanks for the wonderful pix (and going near the nastiness to get them, lol), I really enjoyed them!

~Kris

edited to say - I meant a Yeti (cause it's white), not Sasquatch, lol.

This message was edited Jun 10, 2007 6:54 PM

Westchester, IL(Zone 5b)

Oh yeah, and Becky, your owl pix are great, too! I would've been so excited, so I totally understand shaky hands!

~Kris... nature is cool

edited to say - that last pic you posted would make a great Halloween decoration!

This message was edited Jun 10, 2007 6:55 PM

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks, Kris! It was definitely a thrill to see and be that close to them! I haven't seen them since, but I am glad I managed to get some photos!

I love Cat's baby owl photos! Awesome, indeed!!!!

Edinburg, TX

Here's an update on the owlets. The older one doesn't look so big anymore now that the the little bugger is catching up. There is still one egg that hasn't hatched and no signs of what was the fourth egg.

The older owlet is in the background...it's got more dark feathers.

~ Cat

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South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I think God must have had some left over parts and pieces when he made those babies. LOL : )

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

ROFL! Only a mother could love them! Not the most attractive at that stage, but still kinda cute. To me they look like some sort of "antarctic" bird with all the white down. :-)

Interesting looking squirrels. Love those Tarantula spiders! Way cool!!!! Are they poisonous?

Glad to see more photos every week. Such an interesting topic. Ya got it going on at your place!!!

Here is one of my squirrels and one of the mice sharing breakfast this morning. They didn't even wait for me to go inside before scurrying out there. I got up an hour late and everybody was hungry. The birds were all lined up on the power line squawking at me. LOL! I can never sleep late ...... (sheeesh)!

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Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

What great pictures ! the mouse and squirrel looked very healthy, did you just finish brushing them?

Cat - thanks for the updates on those owls, it's amazing to watch them grow.

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Yeah, Red ..... they come over for their manicures and fur brushing after eating breakfast! ROFL!!! Healthy???!!! I am sure! Those rodents eat GOOD!!! I buy only the best! lol

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 7b)

becky,
The birds were waiting for you?
Do you feed the birds every morning?
What do you use as a feeder, that you fill everyday?

chris

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Haha...that is the biggest mouse I've ever seen! If he ever gets into it with that squirrel....my bets are on the mouse!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

Your right flygirl, no wonder Becky attracted those owls, she's got all the mice around her house fattened up ! ... and what with all the manicures and special shampoo & conditioner she puts on their furcoats I'd be surprised if they didn't come back.

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