Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Mrs. Owl spent most of the day in the box, returning at 12:35 am. She did a lot of preening. You can see in the last photo how she closes her eyes while she preens. This is very important, for her eyes are her life. As a predator, if she suffered an eye injury, even if temporary, it could be fatal, as she would have great difficulty hunting. I've put some good pictures of eyes in tonight's blog.
Actually, for the next 6 weeks, she is mostly off the hook, as her mate will be doing most or all of the hunting once she starts incubating 24 hours a day. He is not yet coming to the box with food, so it is not yet clear whether she is still doing her own hunting. She left for 2 periods after midnight, from 2:12 – 3:58 am, and from 5:50 – 7:02 a.m. During this time, she may have hunted, or she may have just gone out to receive some food that her mate had found. This combined with her long break from sunset to 12:35 a.m. at the beginning of the night would have given her over 7 hours to hunt.
During the day, she sat in the entryway once from 3:23 – 3:29pm, and then again at 7:07 pm before her 7:47 pm departure. Tonight was cloudy, so 7:47 served as dusk. We had a big rainstorm tonight, and she stayed out in it. This is the second time she has stayed out in a big downpour. She doesn't seem to use the box as shelter from rain, as one would think she would. It doesn't seem that she could do much hunting in the rain, and why would she want to be out in it? Perhaps she shields herself under a leaf canopy or an overhanging branch. However, the wind in tonight's rain would have still rendered her pretty wet. Only she knows. Maybe cockroaches come out in the rain and make for good snacks.
Still only 2 eggs. If she lays more, the next will probably come tomorrow. 2 days apart is quite normal.