Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go Rusty!

Rusty has been working on putting the moves on Iris every night. He flies over to her perch at least two or three times a night in hopes of seducing her with his low, abbreviated hoots. If all goes well, he can mate (copulate) with her as you see above.

But most of the time Iris is a bit 'owly' about it all and as he advances with his sexy hoots, she just hisses at him, and nips at him if he doesn't take the hint. See the video below for his cool reception from Iris.


  1. Rusty really has his work cut out for him! Good to see they are coupling at all, considering her attitude! Iris is really making him work hard, for little response...other than the nipping cold shoulder! Thanks for the videos, Karla!

  2. Persistance can pay off even if the female isn't willing from the get go. Just ask my husband!!

  3. Love the videos. Rusty does have the most seductive hoots. Are they both making those squeaks? Thanks for all the hours of entertainment. Mapleowl

  4. I think it's just Iris that makes the chittery sounds while Rusty is doing the "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoos".

  5. Just want to say like the others, thanks for the videos, I saw those two .as they happend live. But now I can share them with others.


  6. Thanks for the videos!

    Haven't posted much lately--haven't seen much that hasn't already been covered. Have caught Rusty hooting a few times:

    02 Feb 2011:

    19:16 PST - Rusty does a greeting hoot (first hoot and trill only) three times. He's on the center perch on the nest; Iris is on the log perch on the wall. About a minute later, Iris goes back to her usual perch.

    19:48 PST - Rusty makes a quiet, trilling hoot. His ear tufts are up, and he seems to be watching Iris.

    04 Feb 2011
    19:24 PST - 19:24 - Rusty hoots once - a softer version of his usual call, with his ear tufts partway raised (but still tilted back; he does not lean forward or put his head down like he normally does.

    05 Feb 2011

    14:31 PST - Rusty hoots for a couple of minutes, mostly his usual hoot, once without the last syllable, and once with an extended pause before the last syllable).

    Still watching, just apparently not at the right time.

    There seem to be little visitors in the nest and at the food tray (and I don't mean the owl pellets). Do Great Horned Owls eat shrews?

  7. Rusty's still working to woo Iris. Yes, those little visitors actually aren't shrews like I thought before...they're field mice!! And Rusty just ignores them. Obviously he's a little too well fed....

  8. When I tuned in tonight about 11:45 EST, there was some strange and wild sound that first I thought must be coming from a screech owl outside. Then I was afraid that one of the owls ( Rusty since I couldn't see him ) was in trouble. A bit later Rusty flew down from the perch over the light and settled right beside Iris on the perch at the back of the picture. It was hard to make out what was going on but there were more of those plaintive wails. Then one owl made a very quick move to the end of the perch and then up over the light. The remaining owl moved to the end of the perch and looked up at the light in what I assume was a Romeo and Juliet scene - by then I didn't know who was Romeo and who was Juliet ! Maybe you were watching or have a tape so you can tell me what I saw. Oh yes, at one point the coyotes were wailing too. MapleOwl

  9. Thanks for catching this so I could review it! Rusty made some low hoots to Iris and flew over behind her. I assume the strange sound you heard was Iris doing some chitters. I couldn't make it out, but I almost think Rusty was preening her, and her chitters were in response to that. Then eventually Rusty flew up to the high perch.

  10. Thanks Karla. Your explanation made me go to the Owl Pages and look for a recording of what I heard and there it was. Screaming Chitters by your owl, Alice. When it's as loud as it was last night, " chitter" seems such an understated word to describe the sound. She really sounded like something was trying to kill her. The loudest sounds came before Rusty flew over to her. This is so interesting - and last night a bit scary ! MapleOwl