Arts & Crafts Magazine

Contented Owl

By Nancymccarroll
We are pleased to report that the owl has taken residence in his house over the past three days.  He hardly leaves it during the time the sun is shining.  It makes me wonder if there is some sort of avian rule with nests about the first bird to find a ready made habitat and leaves its scent is the one who gets to keep it. He has definitely claimed it for his own.
Olly Owl, either a western screech owl or a saw-whet, has his eyes open just for a bit during the day. His orbs are yellow, almost like cat eyes.  I have yet to see him blink, but he must do that or his eyes would become dry.  We have many questions of the owl but lack ways of communicating.  It is much easier to talk with our dogs, and they answer readily with their body language and their yips; not so with Olly.
Looking up information on the internet, I can't seem to find if putting cedar chips in the base of the owl house might be helpful for nesting, or if he would rather bring in twigs and leaves without human help.  We will let him sort that out for himself.
When I look out with the binoculars during the day, I can focus in on him pretty clearly.  Sometimes he is gone for up to half an hour, and then he is right back there looking out from the hole.  It makes me think that he is either down in the box, or out for a mouse snack.  I have seen him on the branch near his house only once, and then he immediately flew off.  He is not afraid of us and when the pups go out in the yard, it does not faze him one little bit.
Our birder neighbors said that in this valley they were contacted by Audubon Society volunteers who came into their yard and counted their birds and cleaned out their nest one year.  We are afraid we have stolen Olly from their own back yard.
From Why We Love Owls
Owls are some of the most beloved raptors, and their silent flight, large eyes, mournful calls and nocturnal behavior makes them both magical and mysterious. Because owls are not highly active during the day, a backyard owl can coexist with other backyard birds, and as excellent hunters, they can help control squirrel and rodent populations. Because they do not eat birdseed, they are also inexpensive to attract compared to birds with hearty appetites. 
Contented Owl

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