I will be talking about non-fiction writing at Terrior Creative Writing Festival on Earth Day, April 22 in McMinnville.
Update: Monday, April 10. 8:40AM Ms GGO is sitting on eggs with her head near back of opening, tail protruding toward camera. Briefly she preened a few feathers then settled down again. Her body heat and her feathers are the only thing between the precious eggs and the cold air. Temp at this time is 28 degrees, no wind discernible. A Robin whinnies nearby. A woodpecker is drumming. A cow moos in the distance.
701 PM, SUNDAY, PACIFIC TIME: MALE FLIES IN WITH VOLE IN MOUTH, LEANS OVER TO FEMALE WHO TAKES IT INTO HER BEAK AND SWALLOWS IT HEAD FIRST.
I AM REGULARLY UPDATING THIS BLOG…SEE BELOW…FOR LINK CLICK ON NEXT PARAGRAPH…I AM BIRDING THE SOUNDS, REPORTING ON MS. GGO’S ACTIVITIES, ETC. SO CHECK BACK TOMORROW AND BEYOND…WHEN I LEARN ABOUT POSSIBLE HATCHING DATE, WILL REPORT IT HERE!
Live from the windy mountain forest, somewhere in western Montana, Great Gray Owl female on her FOUR eggs. If you’re lucky you may see male deliver food to her…or she may leave briefly to stretch her wings and you can spy no eggs….takes about thirty days for them to hatch after each egg is laid in sequence…so they will hatch over a period of ten days or more.
If you check out the snapshots there are some from April 8 that show the eggs without the female on them. I could find no information about when she started sitting on the oldest egg. The oldest snapshot is only April but that means one of those eggs was laid well before the end of March so there may be owlet(s) before end of April.
At 5:21 PM she flew off and the eggs, all four, were visible. She won’t be away long. A wing stretch, maybe a catered rodent from her mate, then back to the nest. By 5:32 PM she is back on the eggs. Note her whole length doesn’t fit. She is about 27 inches long but a foot of that is tail, soft and flexible. So for maximum tightness of fit she needs nest no more than 16-18 inches in diameter. You’ll note the size of the owl’s head…it’s as big as yours but it’s mostly feathers, the skull inside is the size of tennis ball roughly.
If you click on the explore button in lower right hand corner of frame it opens up a red line that allows you to scroll back through the most recent four hours of images.
Any guess as to who built that nest in the first place? Raven? Squirrel? Other mammal? Could it be just natural tree detritus that has fallen into the hollow trunk over years?
It is especially nice that this webcam has live sound. I heard a Red-naped Sapsucker calling in the forest there about 5PM Pacific Coast, time sound keeps recurring,must be nesting or courting nearby. They must be nesting in tree within a few yards of owl nest, the noise is clear and continuous. Checklist of birds heard on the owl-cam: RN Sapsucker, Flicker, Raven, Robin, just before 7Pm honking Canada Geese coming in to roost so there must be a lake nearby…at 713PM a Red-breasted Nuthatch honks near enough to be clearly heard…
5:47 PM: Somewhere in the background I hear reveling humanoids, just hope they stick to the campground and don’t pester our mother owl. Must be near parking lot, at 7:14 PM I hear a car honk nearby.
Around 6:15 PM heard dog barking nearby, it soon disappeared from hearing…
At 6:30 PM she issued a series of short sharp barks, and looked over her shoulder, through the notch in the tree trunk, straight toward the camera. He chest and tail moved with each call. After four minutes she stops calling, reverses her position so she is facing out of the nest through the gap, then resumes calling again.
6:50 pm she begins her sharp hoots again, this time facing the camera. I suppose she is saying to her mate, “Food when you have it.” Imagine trying to hunt voles on demand at least four times daily, then imagine up to 24 per day of all four eggs hatch and he has a total of six mouths to feed…
7:09 PM She rises up, rearranges the eggs opens up her chest feathers and settles down with the eggs nest to her brood patch. Read for for a frigid night in the mountains but those long, soft feathers are superb insulation, and she’s got vole meat to metabolize, all’s well for another evening…and the male is still out there hunting on those five-foot stealth wings…
The explore.org website also has links to webcams all over the world: panda, Peregrine, Bald Eagles, hummers, fruit bats, tiger, Osprey, penguins, domestic animals…good news: no humans, no house cats.