Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Victor Hooks Up With Delilah?

Virginia had been gone a month.  She was found unable to fly on the east end of the territory she shared with Victor.  We picked her up off the sand bar in the Root River and volunteers transported her up to The Raptor Center in St. Paul, 2.5 hours north of here.

The Raptor Center had found maggots in a slice in her breast muscle.  She died a few weeks later, presumably from an infection.  They did a necropsy and confirmed this was a female owl, and also that it had a pocket of infection under the skin in its leg.

So a month later I woke up in the middle of the night to hear Victor hooting straight to the south of the house.  He hadn't been that far west for quite some time.  I couldn't figure out why he just hooted and hooted by himself.  Then after a while he was joined by Delilah, the female who's been living to the west of us since February.

They were both really excited, hooting rapidly and over top of each other.

Were they hooking up?  I had originally thought Delilah had her own mate, just that I rarely heard him.  But I had just recently figured out the male I heard with her was Rhett, the male that Scarlett Owl Hara had finally hooked up with half a mile west of us.  But I haven't heard Scarlett since last fall.  So I really have no idea what is going on in this tangled lover's web.

At any rate, I didn't sleep much that night.  I was listening anxiously for signs that Victor and Delilah were getting together.  Eventually they both moved off to the east of us, well into Victor's territory.  They kept hooting, which to me indicated Victor was accepting her there (he went first, and after all, it was he that went into Delilah's territory hooting.)

After a while Rhett started hooting to the south of the house, near where Victor and Delilah had hooted a few hours earlier.  Victor went back and hooted with him, but Delilah now stayed in Victor's territory while Victor handled things.  They hooted a while, but Rhett never came any closer to Victor's territory.

I haven't heard the owls since then, so I'm curious how things are going.  Are Victor and Delilah an item now, just one month after Virginia left?  What happened to Scarlett and why does Rhett appear single?  Was Rhett trying unsuccessfully to woo Delilah?  Hopefully some of these answers will reveal themselves with time.  Others we may never know.

Until the next exciting episode....


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Karla. Thanks for the update on "As the Owls turn." Inquisitive minds need to know. :)

  3. You may have already addressed this, but what kind of recording equipment do you use? I have two GHOs who frequent my back yard and I would love to record with something better than my iPhone! Thanks

  4. I use a Sony M10 digital recorder. It has built in stereo microphones and is pretty sensitive with great audio quality.