Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Move over Scarlett, there's a new girl on the block.

Scarlett caused quite the commotion for Rusty and Iris as they were working on breeding, harassing them every day, late into the morning and starting early in the evening, sometimes even pestering them in the middle of the day while being mobbed by crows. She gradually reduced her appearances so we only heard her maybe once or twice a week during the summer. But it's been maybe a month or so since we've heard her.

But the peace and quiet didn't last. ANOTHER wild female showed up a couple of mornings ago, and she seems just as adamant as Scarlett was. She started hooting at about 5:30 AM and kept on nearly straight through until 9 AM! Rusty was hooting and Alice was hooting and the new lady was hooting.

As with Scarlett's first visit, this new lady couldn't have cared less about us humans. We were able to open windows to do audio and video recordings as well as take pictures. She was in the trees right outside the bedroom window, and quite loud.

Eventually we had enough photos and videos and recordings, so went about our morning. But when I heard Alice jump against a window upstairs, I went up to investigate. Alice was looking down toward the top of the porch roof, so I looked over her shoulder. There stood the new owl only a few feet away!

I ran downstairs, grabbed the camera, and started taking more photos because she was so close. But I realized she was holding her left eye shut, and it looked wet. I quickly reviewed the pictures from earlier in the morning, and realized she had hurt her eye between 7:30 and 8:30 AM. Yikes! I certainly couldn't catch her, even though Marge Gibson, the awesome rehabber who runs the Raptor Education Group in Antigo, WI, was coming that morning to pick up gophers to feed to her birds. Oh well, hopefully it was something that would heal on its own.

At any rate, we heard the new lady the next night, but Rusty, Iris, and Alice had nothing to say this time. Virginia, the resident female, had something to say about it though! As I type this she's hooting again, and Alice is exchanging words with her, and not nice pleasantries either.

Hopefully this lady will move on faster than Scarlett did. Poor Rusty, he's such a stud that he attracts females like crazy!