Here are some photos of the second owlet on his last night in the box. He spent some time sitting in the entrance way, examining the world and relaxing. He left around 9pm, about an hour later in the day than his sibling had left 2 days prior.
The last photo is of the first owlet, the day he fledged.
The first owlet, on Thursday, May 19th, fledged just before sunset, about 8:15pm. He flew towards an oak tree at the back of the property. He didn't make it, landing in some tall ragweed stems that we hadn't trimmed since last year. This was good for him, as it gave him a staging ground to regroup for a second attempt at the tree. Without the stems, he might have ended up on the ground. At this stage, owlets don't have the muscle strength to do level flight or gain altitude. It is basically powered descent. But he made it to the lower oak limbs, and then climbed inside the branches to near the top of the tree before we lost sight of him.
The second owlet fledged 2 days later, on May 21st. We had fully expected him to go the next day, as he was 1 day younger, and we have often had fledging on successive nights, even for owlets 2 days apart in age. However, we had a thunderstorm just around sunset, which probably convinced him to stay inside one more night. When he eventually did fledge, he waited until 9pm, when it was quite dusky out. He headed for the same oak tree, but ended up in some tall bushes nearby. He began to climb those, flapping his wings for assistance, before we lost sight of him.
We haven't seen either one since, though we haven't had time to search much. They usually go deep into the woods within a couple of days, and we do not see them again. We do usually hear the family from time to time during the summer.
It has been an exciting season, with a bit of tragedy, but mostly success. Thank you for sharing it with us. Check back in February of 2012, when we'll turn the camera on again, and await our guests once more.