Tag Archives: owls

Ollie

"Ollie" the Eastern Screech Owl

"Ollie" the Eastern Screech Owl

My aunt has a friend whose owl house has a resident. He’s an Eastern Screech Owl whom she calls Ollie.

My aunt arranged for me to come by and have a look at him, and so on Friday, I got to meet my first owl. He sat in his box, seemingly ignoring everything going on around him, but as I watched through my lens, it was clear he was aware of us, whether or not he cared.

I took a bunch of pictures, but this one is my favorite since he actually appears to be looking back at me. Aside from the eyes, those talons poking out from beneath his feathers keep drawing my attention. I wouldn’t want to be a small critter on the business end of those.

Until Friday, the only owl I had ever seen flew like a ghost over our driveway about 15 years ago. Ghostlike mainly because after it was gone, it was hard to believe I’d even seen it. It was nice to get a chance to really see and watch one finally.

He’s got me thinking too. The screech owl house I put up two years ago never drew any owls. I took it down when it drew rats but after seeing Ollie, maybe I’ll try another tree.

The Wolery

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Last weekend, we visited Wild Birds Unlimited to see about getting a better home for the guy out front. We got a hanging birdhouse, but on the way out we noticed some pictures of owls looking out of boxes.

“Whoa!” I exclaimed. “You can get owl houses?!?”

The store manager nodded and pointed to the owl nest boxes above the counter. I learned that the eastern screech owl lives in these parts, and that they eat mostly bugs, spiders and small mice. My wife and I looked at the picture and quickly decided that a home isn’t a home without some owls.

Getting it mounted in the tree was a bit of a challenge requiring a ladder and some contortions, but it’s there now. Hopefully some homeless owl will stumble on it. If not, I’m sure the squirrels will enjoy it.

While searching for screech owl info, I came upon Chris’ Eastern Screech Owl Nest Box Cam, a site dedicated to the goings on in a nest box here in Austin that’s been tricked out with cameras and other gadgetry.

Mine’s just a box, so hopefully a few Austin owls won’t mind living in something so archaic.

Incidentally, the title of this post refers to Owl’s house in The House at Pooh Corner. Owl, you’ll remember, spells his name W-O-L, but has a great deal of trouble with more difficult words like measles and buttered toast.