Monday, January 24, 2011


Rusty has had his work cut out trying to woo Iris. He's hooted to her some (she almost never hoots with him.) He's fed her a few times. He gets close and makes quiet, deep, "sexy" hoots without the last two notes. But Rusty and Iris didn't exactly seem to be hot and heavy.

Last night I got up to go to the bathroom at 4:30 AM. As I always do, I fumbled in the dark to turn on the computer monitor to see what Rusty and Iris were up to. Within about two seconds of switching the monitor on, Rusty hooted and hopped on Iris's back! Wow....their first mating!!!!! Talk about a miracle to see it live at 4:32 AM!!

The video isn't spectacular, but hey, it's still a video of the moment! Hopefully things will pick up and Iris will start to show an interest in the nest.

In the meantime, Alice has been toooooo dedicated to her nest...not getting off at all for the past 3-4 days. I finally started hand feeding her moistened tidbits of meat while she incubated, and she accepted. I also squirted water into her mouth with a squirt bottle. (She's used to this when we're away doing programs.)

Then when I got up to feed Rusty and Iris at 6:30 AM, I heard Alice hop off her nest down onto the stump in her room. I ran up to hoot with her and see what she did. She hooted back quite a bit, then backed up to the edge of the stump and squirted out the biggest load of poop you've ever seen. Lots of clear runny stuff with dark chunks, but also a huge gob of white stuff the size and shape of a pigeon egg. It's been building up for quite some time so WHEW did it stink!!!!!

Then without so much as getting a drink she hopped back up to her nest and settled down to incubate again. But I'm glad she got that out of her system!


  1. wow thats great Karla, maybe iris will have babies this year after all.

  2. Wow so cool to see live good going Rusty! you'll win her yet. thanks for sharing the moment with us Karla,


    Hope the ustream feed gets fixed so we can see more, guess you can't switch cams on the cornall feed?

  3. WOW!!!!!

    Guess that explains why you pulled the toys out of the nest just now....

    Here's hoping for more good things to happen!

  4. Great ! What fun to be able to see that. I knew she couldn't resist Rusty's deep, throaty voice forever. MapleOwl

  5. Just some quick notes:

    On 25 Jan 2011, at around 3:06 (not sure of the exact start time), Iris could be heard flying and chittering off-camera. She got to her loudest at around 03:10. Other than that, nobody said anything while I was tuned in.

    This morning (26 Jan 2011), at 03:49, Rusty hooted--much softer than his usual hoot, and it sounded like a greeting hoot (not quite sure because I had sound on both the Cornell and Ustream cams on at the time--oops). He hooted for a little under a minute total. Iris did some flying around and might have returned Rusty's hoot, but with the two out-of-sync audio feeds, I'm not sure what I heard at the time--sorry. Breakfast and post-breakfast have been pretty quiet today.

    Sure glad this blog doesn't include Smell-o-Vision--that description of Alice's, uh, deposit was pretty graphic. But that, too, shall pass.....

  6. And another quick note:

    Last night (26 Jan 2011), at 20:47 PST, there were some quiet, low-pitched trilling hoots (greeting hoots from Rusty?), followed by Rusty and Iris both flying from the far wall towards the nest wall. Iris landed on the log perch, Rusty went to the nest. Iris walked over to the wall and looked around the plywood for a bit, then flew back to the high perch in the corner.

    Quiet night and morning, at least when I was watching...

  7. Sorry, it looked like he landed on her head.
    not mating. but tried maybe.

  8. Hay Karla! They bounded at 9pm cam time, It was fast but he didn't miss. after some smooth Talking, Go Rusty. Iris made no sound that I could hear.


  9. Hope we get to see video of that. would be so great to see after waiting so long for mating and hopefully egg laying.

  10. Actually last night at 9 PM Rusty hopped BEHIND Iris instead of on top of her, so they didn't actually mate. She's been blowing him off with hisses lately, but Rusty keeps trying. He has, however, mated with her a second time. See the Go Rusty! post for a video of the copulation versus being blown off.