The Melton Team Barred Owls
This has been a long time coming!
November and December 2016: Bryant was desperately trying to finish up the owl house. There were pieces of cedar scraps all over the family room! We kind of figured it would be a little late. Barred owls can nest as early as January or February, so the end of December was cutting it really close! We followed all of the directions from the Cornell site and had it mounted by the tree climbers that come to trim the trees. They added the bedding and cleared a few branches that hung near the opening. Time to wait and watch!!
January and February 2017: we didn’t see anything near the box except for a few little birds kind of peeking in. It was very disappointing after all that hard work. At the very least, we had a cool looking (vacant) owl house in our backyard. It looked neat among the trees and the lake.
Early Spring 2017: We saw a squirrel carrying a huge branch up a tree and right into the box!! The squirrel packed it full … all the way to the opening. So much for the bedding! The owlet ladder inside? Useless! :( In all seriousness, we actually had a lot of fun watching the squirrel make a home. It would hang out of the opening after a long day, sprawled upside down, asleep! So happy to be in this luxury squirrel condo! Before long came squirrel number two! They chased each other all over, wrestled around and … well … I think you get where this is going …
Mid-Spring 2017: Seems like there were 4 squirrels in a matter of days! Now, we have a full house!! The two babies were wild as they could be! I don’t know how they didn’t fall out of the tree, but they were INSANE!! :) It was funny to watch all of the happenings day after day.
Late Summer 2017: Not a lot happening in the squirrel house! I can’t imagine what it smelled like inside! Yuck! We happened to be outside trying to get some pictures of the owls. They were on the other side of the property. They are very hard to spot in the summer, when the leaves are on the trees. They always fly from tree to tree, one at a time, right around dusk. One of the owls flew across the back deck and in front of the owl house!! It was so exciting!! Bryant started changing camera setting really quickly to see if he could get a high speed shot. The other owl came flying across and we were not prepared! We snapped as fast as we could any ways! Ended up with a cool shot, but it’s just not very focused. Still a very cool picture to get.
Late Fall 2017: We had the first falling of leaves removed and a few branches trimmed. If you’ve ever visited us, you’ll know the branches from all the big trees are never ending. You’re either going to trim some of them, or they’ll fall on your head, house or cars! While the tree climbers were here, we had them change the bedding out just in case. We were resigned to have a nice squirrel house in the trees, but there is always a little bit of hope that maybe one day …
January 2018: OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! Get the camera!!!!! I start shooting with my little camera as fast as I can just in case we missed it. We did, but I got some shots (very far away) of the owls peeking in the house and sitting on the perch!! How exciting!!! They haven’t moved in yet as far as we know, but you can bet we’ll have the camera ready if they do!!