June 23rd Finally saw chicks at the nest! Brad and his class from the Institute were with me today. We hung around the nest for a time hoping to see a feeding, but none came. We then climbed on to another higher viewpoint and soon located the perched female. After a bit she led us away from the nest, so we followed and found her perched again.
We found several more bear beds and scat.
July 9th Ray and I climbed up to the nest this morning hoping to get an official chick count. When we arrived at the nest site I wasn't surprised to find it empty. We looked around a bit then soon heard the female beg for food below us. As we got close, she flew upslope. Ray followed her while I continued my search for chicks.
Obviously, there's at least one surviving chick or she wouldn't still be here. As we sat quietly waiting for a chick to call, the female moved from perch to perch, continuing to call every now and then.
My experience tells me that a lone chick doesn't have much reason to call as he gets all the food while two or more chicks call constantly trying to be a bit louder than their siblings so to get fed first.
I could be wrong, but this nest probably only produced one chick.
Ray and I looked a bit more then headed back down the mountain side. I'll have to come back some evening and try again. But will be surprised if I find more than one chick.
Later at the cabin as I was writing this article, I realized robins were barking and junco were ticking. The same sounds I had just experienced at the great gray nest! Did the owl follow me home? I stepped out on the porch for a look. A pine marten sat in a tree looking at me.
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