Friday, March 11, 2005

An "Intruder"

As part of the Festival of Owls this last weekend, Marge Gibson (Alice's rehabilitator) came and brought 6 live owls (Eastern Screech-, Long-eared, Barred, 2 Barns, Barred & Great Horned Owls.) Marge's live owl programs are always a big hit with the crowd, but maybe not with Alice....

Bumpy, the Great Horned Owl Marge brought along for the programs, is a male. Since males are smaller than females, and Alice is a BIG female, we held them side by side during the programs to show the size (and color) difference. Alice didn't like being so close to another owl....she actually hissed and clacked her bill at Bumpy during the program!! It takes a lot to make Alice clack her bill.

Marge and the birds spent the night at our house, along with Great Gray Owl biologist and keynote speaker Jim Duncan. We stayed up talking, and Bumpy hung out with us downstairs. Bumpy is normally a very hooty bird during mating season, but his bout of West Nile Virus has changed his personality. He's been slowly recovering, and has only recently returned to his old hooty self. So hoot he did.

Alice didn't appreciate it. While she didn't say much while I was downstairs with everyone, the next morning she got clucky and hooty as soon as she heard me walking to her room. I think she would have kept vocalizing if I hadn't left her room to go shower. Bumpy didn't say anything until Marge got up, then he got all hooty too.

Sunday night, after Alice was home again and everyone had left, Alice turned into the hootiest owl she's ever been. She hooted almost non-stop from 8 PM to 3 AM! And she's stayed hooty and clucky too. Everytime she sees my husband or me she starts getting clucky and heads for her nest box or nest basket. Or sometimes she'll start hooting just because she hears us talking. She's never been this bad before.

She is calming down with the hooting some, but she's still got the renewed interest in her nest box and basket. Apparently intruding owls can make for a very jealous Alice....

No comments:

Post a Comment