As it got dark, the female adult, followed by the fledgling, appeared on the trees east of a Grotto. While there, the female adult sang one soft song. It was the trill song, the one we used to hear the West Drive screech female singing after her mate disappeared.
The female and fledgling headed west along the edge of the Pool and then few across the water, landing in a tree at the east end of the Pool. Then the female alone flew into a bare tree just to the north.
A few seconds later, we heard two trill songs, one from the female and a response from the male somewhere nearby. Suddenly the male appeared right above the female. And there, silhouetted by an almost full moon, we saw an amazing sight--Owl sex.
Then all three flew across the drive, and into the darkness of the night.
Chris was the only one watching the owls this evening and sent this great report:
"Well, I screwed around with e-mail after sending that message to you all, got out late with the dog and was rewarded for my tardiness --I found the nest cavity.
The female and the fledge came out of a *very* small hole near the lamp post at about 7:12.
I was walking by with the dog, scouting tree branches when a little gray fluffball poking its nose around caught my eye. The mother and fledge took turns peeking out of the hole from about 7:10 -- they must have been standing on each others heads or something -- then flew out to the tree near where the third chick was rescued by Barbara and Carolyn.
There they were greeted by the male who was roosting or in another cavity. He flew upwards, from the left, responding to the same haunting percussive calls of the female we heard Friday night -- and attempted to copulate with her. He didn't get a good hold and dropped off after a brief moment. They all flew off very quickly at about 7:20 towards the Friday night 'sex tree' but I lost them and didn't make much effort to find them.
Now, that we know where the cavity is, we can start to learn to tell the parents apart. This evening, we see one of the owls, I begin to call Trident, because of three lines that come off its forehead. It might turn out that there are four, but the name sticks.
While following the owls, we find this roosting juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.
Tonight, Marie, Jimmy, and I watched the nest cavity. We saw an adult and the fledgling trading places. It was a cold night after a nice and sunny, warm sixty degree day.
At fly out, we thought all three flew out of the cavity but couldn't be certain.
We heard a soft song by one of the owls but we didn't see any copulation tonight. All three stayed in the usual trees for about 10 minutes before flying northeast. We searched in the trees, but the owls had out foxed us, and were nowhere to be seen.
As we exited the park, our peanut feeding raccoon lover was feeding two raccoons. No wonder The Pool is over-populated with them.
It was cold and windy, with partly cloudy skies. Owl watchers included Marie, then, Chris, then Lee, Jimmy, Noreen, Mary Ann, and Jean.
We saw one adult, Trident and the fledgling in the cavity trading places. The fledgling few out five to ten minutes before the adult, who stretches a wing before flying out. The wing stretch before fly out is a rarity.
After the fly out of the adult, the third owl which doesn't have stripes on its forehead, so I'm calling it Herringbone comes in from somewhere. All fly rapidly northeast. A song is heard. I think it's the adult love song. Jean, the fledgling crying for food. She may have gotten it right, as the adults may have begun to let Junior get its own food, rather than feeding it.
Jean and I go down into the Loch, down north path from road, then north a little on the west path. Two owls are on a low branch, that then go towards the stream. The "path" was too wooded and thick to safely follow them in the dark, so we called it a night.
Jean, Lee, Noreen and I watched the fly out. All three owls were in the cavity. The fledgling flew out early and had to deal with two alarmed Robins, who made a racket around it. After all three flew out, they went northeast. One adult stayed behind for a awhile. They then were in the area near the two pine trees the owls used two years ago. We heard more calling and the owls went across the drive.
It might be April, but it was still cold. Jean and I braved 32 degree weather. 7:20 was the first pop-up of an owl in the hole. Everything was normal until 7:35 when a Red-tailed Hawk flies within feet of the hole, carrying a rat.
We don't see an owl in the hole until 8pm! The larger of the two adults, Trident sits in hole and calls loudly for a long time. We only see the parents leave hole, 8:10 (Trident) and 8:11 (Herringbone). I wonder if they told the kid to stay home tonight!