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!


  1. I check in from time to time and today I was rewarded with news of your owls - wild and not. What a lovely time you have with your ever growing parliament. of GHOs

    I have a question. Can an owl feather be solid brown? I'm hoping that the feather I found in my woods the other day is a sign that our resident GHOs are still around . The feather is probably 12-14 inches in length. There was also a much smaller brown feather in the same spot.

    Can't wait to see Rusty and Iris again. When do you think you will turn the cameras back on? Sara Forstner

  2. that's great news Karla, however, I could only hear the birds singing on the video and not the hooting of the new female.I hope her eye recovers soon too. Hey Sara there is still a cam on rusty and iris I don't know if this link I just put here will show when I hit send but I hope it does, right now if you use internet explorer to view ustream cams all you see is a white screen and no pic but you can still see chat and talk on chat. I have sent a message to the people who are in charge I hope of Sportsmansparadiseonline site that the other rusty and iris nest cam is gone and put the link to the great horned owl breeding project cam and have asked them to please put that cam up cause if you go onto their site you can see any of the ustream sites that they have listed. I hope they see that message soon. and I hope ustream will fix the problem all of us people who use internet explorer to view the cams. Critterwatcher

  3. I forgot to ad that if you use firefox and any other server? that you can see Rusty and Iris cam that way and then pull up the ustream site if you want to chat on it.

  4. Sara -
    It's not too likely that an owl feather of that size would be solid brown. An owl feather has a velvety pile on the top surface of the feather, so that should be a sure sign of weather your feather is from an owl or not.

    As critterwatcher mentioned, the main cam is online, but some people aren't able to view it for some reason.

  5. Thanks Karla for the feather info. Disappointing but expected. Maybe my owls will be back in the fall to stake their territory. Thanks Critter for the web address. It came right up and there was either Rusty or Iris hooting at the window -maybe at the latest new girl in town.The winter should be exciting. Sara/MapleOwl

  6. I got here through
    Thanks for making that website and showing that domestic owls are not practical.

  7. Just happened to drop in just in time to see one of the owls flying back and forth screaming. I guess Iris is still bossing Rusty around. It was very loud. 8:58 EDT. Sara

  8. Thanks for the note! Glad that some people are still watching. Yes, Iris is still being 'owly' with Rusty. Lots of irritated chittering in the evenings.

  9. This is a great rehab story about a south african spotted eagle owl.

  10. Wow, Wolphie, that's an amazing story!!!! Thanks for making sure I saw it!