Sunday, 2-8-09 - North Woods
A few birders and I had seen a North Woods Eastern Screech-Owl pair copulating the previous evening. It had been the first time we had seen Screech-Owls up north since last summer. It seems that the Red phased owl that had been downtown, has replaced one of the gray owls from last year.
So in the late afternoon, I went up to the North Woods to look for the owls again, since their current roosting cavities remain a mystery.
This evening, while waiting to see or hear the owls, we heard taped calls from the bypass road at 103rd Street. An owl group leader was playing tapes. I was disappointed to hear the tapes, since the couple had already begun the breeding season.
Because the red phased Eastern Screech-Owl was large, it was assumed that it was female. But you'll see in the pictures below, based on who is on top, it looks the female is actually a male. Colors late at night can be confusing, but it's a good bet we got the sex wrong initially.