Eastern Screech-Owls Rediscovered
Sunday Around The Great Lawn

Screech Owls On A Snowy Sunday

I came into the park during a break in the snow storm to look for the screech owls. 

There was no sign of them, so I went off hawk watching.  It was a good day for watching Pale Male and Lola, as there were other birds in their territory including a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, an American Kestrel, a Turkey Vulture and a Cooper's Hawk.

I went back in the late afternoon to look for any sign of the owls and got to see one fly out and then got to watch them for about an hour after the fly out.  The combination of the snow and low cloud cover created a glowing background to see the owls in the dark.

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The first sign of an owl wasn't until 4:50 p.m.

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It really took its time getting up.

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There was only one owl in this tree cavity tonight.  This shot of the owl reminded me of the owl Jean and I saw on April 30th.  It has the same fine streaking on its head.

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It took its time flying out.   But finally it flew.

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I lost it at first by found an owl after five minutes.  Soon there were two and I lost track of who was who.

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I missed getting a photograph of the two owls together, as its nearly impossible to focus quickly in the dark.  But both came together for a brief moment.  One owl also lead me to another cavity location, which it went in and out of about three times.   Eastern Screech-Owl males are known to provide a selection of cavities, sometimes with food caches for their mates.  I might have been witnessing this behavior, but can't be certain.

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This pair's roosts, as well as the Pool and West Drive owls are all in very public locations.  I wonder if being in an area with lots of dog walkers helps protect them from raccoons.  Is a more public roost in Central Park safer for a nocturnal bird, then a wooded space in the Ramble or the Loch?