Narrative Updates for the Truly Addicted

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Back To: April Calendar

4/28/03: No sign of hatching yet. Ward, however, continues to work overtime. He made one daylight delivery of a mouse just before noon and delivered five additional meals between 8pm and 11pm this evening. In spite of the ample supply of food, June continued to do a lot of whining to make sure that Ward is ready for the increased demands that will be placed on him after the owlets hatch. (11:45pm)

4//27/03: There were no daylight deliveries today, but Ward more than made up for it after sunset by making seven food deliveries before 11pm. At 11:30pm some sort of nocturnal creature could be heard walking through the leaves toward the nest box tree. June was alarmed enough to climb up to the doorway and snap her beak at the creature for about thirty seconds before flying to a nearby tree where she continued her snapping for a couple of minutes. Her threats were enough to cause the creature to walk away without attempting to climb up to the box. While there is no way to know for sure, her level of alarm suggests that it was probably a raccoon, which is known to have an appetite for eggs and young owlets. The nest box tree has a 20-inch wide band of aluminum wrapped around its trunk to keep raccoons from climbing it, but June does not appear to be convinced that it will work. (11:45pm)

4/25/03: Ward again brought in plenty of food last night and was able to spend his day relaxing on a high perch, while. June continued to focus all of her attention on her eggs. Both of the owls look to be ready for their next big challenge.. 

4/23/03: After a slow start last night, Ward came through with three food deliveries between 4am and 6am today. That was enough to satisfy June who spent a quiet day incubating her eggs. Ward called home twice but made no more food deliveries until 8pm. The rainy weather is scheduled to continue for the nest few days, but so far Ward has been up to the challenge. (11:40pm)

4/22/03: After a brief outing at 5:30am, June spent a quiet morning in the nest. Ward made no daylight food deliveries, but did call home once just before noon. June appeared to be getting anxious by late afternoon and went into a squealing frenzy when she heard a chipmunk chattering outside. She did not, however, make any effort to go after it, as her devotion to the eggs appears to be growing each day. Ward did not make his first nighttime delivery until 9 pm and has not been back since. The rain that started last night has continued through the day and probably accounts for Ward's difficulties. (11:45pm)

4/19/03:  With improving weather Ward appears to be meeting June's needs without resorting to  daytime hunting. He made five food deliveries last night, so that June slept quietly for most of the  day. She woke up every couple of hours to rotate the eggs, but again did not climb to the door until after sunset. She then left the nest for a break, but was back in five minutes to wait for Ward's first delivery of the night. As of 11pm he had already made four deliveries and June's greetings were unusually calm and quiet. More good hunting weather is forecast for tomorrow and both Ward and June are now in a comfortable routine.     

4/18/03: As June passes the half way point in her incubation duties, she is growing even more devoted to her eggs. She was out of the nest for less than 10 minutes last night and did not even climb to the door during daylight today. She did a lot of whining today, but to no avail. Ward made no deliveries to the nest during daylight today, but did call home once. He finally showed up with a meal just after sunset and returned two hours later to make a second delivery. (10:30am)  

4/17/03: After a couple of warm days, the temperature dropped below freezing last night and the same is projected for tonight. This has caused June to limit her excursions outside the nest to less than five minutes.  The three deliveries that Ward made last nigh must have been small ones, because June whined throughout the morning. Ward responded by delivering another ribbon snake at 1:15pm and June met him in the doorway where she devoured it in a matter of seconds. Ward has obviously found a spot where large numbers of ribbon snakes congregate -- probably sunning themselves on logs -- and is able to swoop down on them without warning. It's a good thing that he discovered this new source of prey because his nighttime catches are obviously not enough to satisfy June.  He has made only one delivery so far tonight and June is doing a lot of whining. (11:30pm)

4/16/03:  June spent a quiet day incubating her eggs. She left the nest only twice and was back  in less than ten minutes both times. The first exit was for her regular pre-dawn break in a nearby tree, and the second came when Ward called her out to accept a 10:30am meal delivery.  This was his last daylight delivery, but after yesterday's big snake feast June did not complain. He has made three additional deliveries tonight and it's beginning to look like he may again be up to the task of providing for a family.

4/14/03:  After receiving only two meals last night, June was a bit more restless today. She whined almost continuously, and climbed to the door twice in response to the sounds of potential prey near the nest box. On one occasion, she flew in the direction of a red squirrel in a nearby tree, but it escaped her by ducking into a tree cavity. After missing her target, she did not even land in the tree; but immediately circled back and entered the nest box just seconds after leaving it. With much improved weather today, Ward made his first delivery just minutes after sunset and returned with two more meals before 10 pm. This appears to have been enough to silence her for the first time today.(11:30 pm)

4/13/03: It was a relatively quiet day today with little whining and one call home. The one unusual happening came at 4pm when June went out to meet with Ward in a nearby tree where they spent about ten minutes preening each other's faces. She then returned to the nest and resumed incubating her eggs until Ward made his first food delivery at 8:30 pm. There have been no additional deliveries since then and she is again showing her impatience with frequent whines.. (11:15 pm)

4/11/03: While June continued to whine for most of the morning, her calls were less frequent and less urgent, and she did not leave the nest. A big surprise came at 1:15pm, when Ward landed in the doorway and reached down to present her with a small mouse. She greeted him with wild squealing and swallowed the mouse immediately. This was enough to quiet her until he made his next delivery at 8:15pm. It has been raining all day, so  that Ward's achievements are even more impressive. (11pm)

4/8/03: It's beginning to look like June has been meeting with Ward at some distant location to pick up her meals. She has gone out three times tonight and on one of the outings I was able to hear Ward's distant wailing just before she returned. She also hooted twice during the day as if responding to a call that was too distant to be picked up by the microphones in the nest box. There was much less whining during the day, which suggests that she is probably getting enough to eat. She continues to take good care of the eggs by rotating them every few hours and limiting her outings to less than 15 minutes. Still no clue as to why Ward is not coming to the nest. (11pm)

4/6/03: Ward again failed to make any deliveries last night and I was beginning to be concerned that something might have happened to him. June, however, did not appear overly concerned and slept for most of the day. At 5:15 pm, she suddenly looked up and hooted as she does when responding to Ward's call home. While I was not able to hear Ward initially, I was able to hear his very distant call by processing the recording with a noise reduction program. June's ears are obviously a lot better than the very sensitive OwlCam microphones, as Ward's call woke her up immediately. There were no more calls for the rest of the day, and have been no more deliveries so far tonight. June continues to wait patiently for Ward to show up. (11pm) 

4/3/03: Even though Ward delivered only two meals last night, June spent a quiet day in the nest. She slept for most of the day, but woke up several times to chomp on the larger wood chips. Ward called home with his classic hoot just after noon and she responded enthusiastically with a couple of abbreviated classic hoots and several whines. So far  this evening, Ward is doing much better with his hunting and made three food deliveries before 9pm.  The rapid pace of the deliveries suggests that he hunted throughout the day and stashed his prey for nighttime delivery. (10:15pm)