A stop in Boxford this past Sunday morning, 5-16-10, found Jack Holt, raptor bander extraordinaire, ready to to tackle the job of banding young Barred Owls at a local nest site. Unfortunately they had fledged the prior night and were nowhere to be found. These were the same young birds we had seen during Bird-a-thon.
From there we headed for a private location to view a new "nest structure" Jack had recently installed for a pair of Great Horned Owls who's nest had disintegrated prior to their fledging.
The bottom 1/3rd of a 55 gallon drum was the answer for the owls housing needs. The adults have been seen feeding the young at this location and hopefully will use this for years to come.
This is the second of the two peeking over the edge.
A short drive from this location found another pair of Barred Owls nesting in a beautiful piece of protected woods.
The female stayed close by calling softly to the youngsters still in the box.
Raccoons used the box over the winter and added a bit of "flow through ventilation" which the owls didn't seem to mind.
At 70 years young watching Jack working his way up to the boxes and rappelling down seems a magical feat for those of us with our feet firmly planted on the ground! Thanks Jack & Happy Birthday!!