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Screech owl family – the ‘Owlbamas’ – nesting in Walnut Creek backyard

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 6:58 am in Screech owls.

Fledgling “brancher” screech owl chicks. Photo by Marilyn Trabert, Walnut Creek, CA.
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We have had Western Screech Owls nesting in our backyard for seven years now, and every year is exciting.  The past three years we’ve had four owlets fledge successfully. Before that it was three each year, except for the second year when they abandoned two eggs.  We live in a townhouse in the Rudgear area, so our yard is pretty small.  Yet the nest box is only about 15 feet from the house in a redwood tree.

Screech owl chick gets first look at the world from the door of its nest box. Photo by Marilyn Trabert, Walnut Creek, CA
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I was wondering whether there might be an interest in our owlet photos.  I’m attaching a few to this email.  They were taken with a little point and shoot, most of the time through a spotting scope, so we get these nice close shots.  We’ve received so many comments about the first adorable little guy as he surveys the world for the first time.  We think the adult against the liquid amber is pretty special, and the fledgling “branchers” in the trees are darling.  BTW, we call this family of screeches “The Owlbamas.”
Marilyn Trabert, Walnut Creek, California

Are you kidding? Of course I’m interested in these delightful photos. People rarely get a chance to get a look at screech owls and these shots are perfect! I particularly like the photo of the adult screech pressed against the liquid amber tree. Now THAT’S camouflage! Again, thanks. these are great!

Adult screech owl camouflaged against the matching trunk of a liquid amber tree. Photo by Marilyn Trabert, Walnut Creek, CA.
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By the way, folks, these little owls are less than 9 inches tall. They feed on mice, small birds, insects, arthropods, lizards, small snakes, and the occasional Pacific treefrog. /Gary

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One Response to “Screech owl family – the ‘Owlbamas’ – nesting in Walnut Creek backyard”

  1. Parrot Nanny Gayle Says:

    These are wonderful photos! Thank you Marilyn for sharing. Makes me want to install a screech owl box for next year! I like the idea of the metal faceplate on the box. That should keep the squirrels from chewing a larger hole!

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