Nashville Warbler in December
Eastern Screech-Owls on Sunday

My Fourth Eastern Screech-Owl Of The Season

I had already seen three Eastern Screech-Owls this fall.  One few over my head a few weeks ago in the northern part of the park, and I recently discovered two more which have been the subject of recent posts.

Today, I saw my fourth, which may be a bird I heard over a month ago.

I was following up on reports of a Saw-whet Owl.  When I asked around I was told to go to a popular birding spot.  When I got there, I heard the reports about Friday.  Some had thought it was a Saw-whet, some knew it to be a Screech-Owl, and one couple insisted it was a Long-eared Owl since it had ear tufts.

The bird has been in a London Plain Tree on a low branch.  While I was asking people what they had seen, I noticed a small cavity in a nearby London Plain Tree.  Tufted Titmice would hover eighteen inches outside the hole, move to a nearby tree and cry out an alarm call.  Other birds would appear, and also call out an alarm.  They would inspect the other cavities in the tree, even landing on them, but all birds avoided this one hole.

This happened four times, so I had to stay and watch the cavity at dusk.  Here's what I saw between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m.

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