I have an Eastern Screech Owl currently residing in a box in my West Islip 
backyard..  This is her fifth year!  The first year, the pair fledged 5 
beautiful owlets in late May/early June 2015.  A chronology and photographs can 
be reviewed in the September, 2015 Kingbird.  In year two (2016), they fledged 
four.  In 2017 her nest failed, and I suspect that her mate died, because she 
returned last year with a new, much redder, much more aggressive mate, and they 
hatched either three or, more likely four.  They departed the box very late 
into the night while I was sleeping, making an accurate count impossible, and 
once fledged, they do not return to the box.  I'm am confident that the same 
female has been returning, as she has fairly distinctive, sandy blond 
coloration.  She departs in the first week of June, after all the owlets have 
fledged, and returns to the box typically in October, this year on the 18th.  
So I am curious if anyone has had a screech owl nest for this many years, and 
what is typical.  I had been told, after year one, that they generally don't 
reuse the same cavity in consecutive years. Apparently that wasn't true.  I 
suppose I could research their lifespan, but I tend to be skeptical of 
published figures as they apply to wild animals.
I bought a camera to mount inside the box, but I failed to get it installed 
before she returned last month.  The camera should prove entertaining and also 
safer, as that aggressive male smacked me in the back of my head last June,  to 
the amazement of my wife and some friends, when I got too close to a 
just-fledged owlet!
Any helpful information would be appreciated.

Bob Grover

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