Folks, 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.
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