A View from my Studio – Spring Visitors

Every spring I relish this view from my studio as I work on paintings and projects..

The backyard feels lush and green as plants sprout, after a winter hibernation, in well-tended beds. And, I eagerly await the arrival of Mama and Papa owls and the birth of their babies.

Follow the red arrow.
Peek into the hole.
See the vague outline of a recently hatched owl.

This owl, like all owls and most birds, was born with an “egg tooth.” You can see the top part of this tooth in the photo below. This structure helps them chip away from within and break through the tough eggshell. The egg tooth drops off a week or 2 after the hatching.

He (or she) is cautiously watching me as I take the photo. I think there is only one this year.
Last year I saw two little heads bobbing. Their young neck muscles were so weak that their heads looked like car dashboard figurines (“Bobble Heads”) with a spring for a neck.

Below is the ever vigilante Mama Owl. This year, I’ll call her “Betty,” after my own Mother. Betty has just spotted a safe time to fly from her house in search of food for her baby. Late afternoons seem to be part of her daily feeding foray and schedule.

Mama Owl, “Betty,” readies herself for flight. Wooden owl homes are available at Wild Birds Unlimited stores. They’re easy to install.

Mama Betty is well-concealed, just outside my studio, in one of the backyard trees.

In a few weeks the baby owl will fly away.

My garden will grow fuller. I’ll continue my current commission and other art work with the hope that next Spring another pair of owls, ready to mate, notices the welcome mat figuratively placed outside my studio in a nearby tree.

The odds are good. I’ve learned that owls are not known for being skillful and diligent nest builders. They prefer to simply take over the nest that some other bird or animal – in my case squirrels – has made. Once a good nest is found, owls use it year after year.

Welcome back spring happenings.

…until Sunday, May 13th.

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6 thoughts on “A View from my Studio – Spring Visitors

    • I’m glad the owls discovered my owl home last year – two years in a row now. As a result, I’ve studied and learned things about owl habits. The first year I had zero owls – only squirrels. Nature’s cycle is perfect. In the first winter, the squirrels built the nest, had their babies, “flew the coop” and made room for the owls to move into a “prefab” nested home the subsequent year.
      See you at Valley House tomorrow night with Nasher Avant-Garde, if you’re going.

      • Sounds like there might have been a nocturnal air raid on the squirrel nest. Planning to go tomorrow, see you there. Thanks, Bob

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