For the first time this year, June entered the nest in daylight to do some heavy housekeeping. For one hour, she alternated between attempting to scratch through the bottom of the nest box and gnawing on the scraps of lumber she found under the sawdust that covers the floor. The scratching activity was so vigorous that I assume she was trying to dig a deeper cavity. She seemed frustrated by the fact that what might work inside a rotten tree stump did not work with solid lumber. Her gnawing efforts seemed to be aimed at turning pieces of scrap lumber into sawdust. She ultimately succeeded in pulverizing the eight-inch disk that I had cut out of a cedar shingle to make the door. Her persistence in these efforts suggests that Barred Owls may play a greater role in cavity excavation than they are given credit for.
Back To: 1998 Nesting Season