Friday February 12 2010
No, it's not poop on the porch railing, but a pellet! A gift from some owl last night. He wasn't even perching on the roof, because that's overhanging - he perched on the railing!
You can see little rodent bones in the pellet. If I took it apart I could probably put a whole mouse (or two mice) skeleton together.
I hear screech owls here every night. Occasionally I'll hear a great horned owl. Just a quarter mile up Bates Creek, at least two long-eared owls are hanging out - same place I've seen a day-roost of them (they prefer thick vines to roost in - and you will not see them unless they fly), same place I spotted a baby last year.
The long-eared owls and great horned owls will take up and lay eggs in an abandoned nest in the cottonwood trees. The birds aren't sitting on nests yet, but now's the time to view and make a note of the nests, because they'll be hard to see once the leaves are out. (And buds are already starting on some of the trees!!)
Screech owls will use a cavity in a snag. Plenty of snags around here also, but it's hard to spot the screech owls in the twilight or dark.
Did you spot the long-eared owl in the top photo? Here are some hints.
And I do realize that I am probably one of only a few people who get excited about owl pellets...