Friday, April 21, 2017


Western Screech Owl inside a nest box
Can you see the the owl in the box?  You are looking at the head and back of a Western Screech Owl inside nest box # 15. We believe she is incubating eggs due to her flattened posture and absolute stillness when we peeked the camera into the box. If she is incubating and all goes well, we can expect to see 2-7 nestlings within the next month.

So how did we see her? This winter Ken and crew installed nest boxes to determine potential use of the BCCER as breeding site for Northern Saw-whet owls, a cavity nesting species. To check the nests Ken attached a flexible cable with tiny camera and LED light to a bamboo pole, plugged in to his tablet. He can feed the camera quietly into the cavity entrance, see what is inside on his screen and then take a photo. We have conducted two box checks,

Ken's nest-cam set up. The camera is at the end of the pole
inside box #4. He is viewing the inside of the box on his tablet.

one on March 11 and one on April 19. In March, we found bird feces in two two boxes but no birds were present. We guessed the boxes were used by Northern Flickers roosting in the boxes at night. In April, we found identifying flicker feathers in the same boxes, and then we found the screech owl in a third box, What a fun surprise! Learn more about Western Screech Owls here.