Chapel Hill, NC, USA
I built a barred owl house based on the NestWatch specs and put it in my backyard. First watched a raccoon size up the box. Then a few rounds of squirrels. Pretty exciting to then see barred owls investigate the box periodically in early morning hours. Then one day I saw “Beatrice” the barred owl looking out of the nest in the middle of day. She stayed continuously in the nest for over a months with regular food deliveries from “Barry”. Soon after that we noticed Beatrice leave the nest for brief moments maybe for a bit of reprieve or to help with hunting for the growing babies. I happened to be there to take video of the first fledge and of that fledgling climbing a nearby tree to safety. Once they both fledged it became difficult to find them but once a day I would seek them out and typically could find and photograph at least one fledgling and a parent. One highlight for me was a couple weeks after fledge when I found the two babies together one a single branch. Before my eyes I witnessed for the first time one successfully fly to another treetop and the sibling immediately follow. Another highlight was watching a parent deliver a short tailed shrew to a fledgling. I sent that picture to a local biologist for confirmation of the schrew identification. Fascinating stuff.