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Great Gray Owl Nest Log #3

Even More Obstacles
by Dan Hartman

July 5, 2022

     June 17th    Arrived at 8am.  Nothing significant occurred.  Just sat on the nest.  Think I spotted a pine marten in dead fall below the nest.

     June 18th    Arrived with Cindy at 8:15am.  Around 9am squirrels began chattering.  Then the female suddenly became alert, staring into the forest to the south.  Started popping her bill and looked intently at the ground below the snag. 

     "I see a marten!", Cindy whispered.

     The snag started moving back and forth as the marten worked it's way up the 35 foot stump.  The female continued to peer down the snag when suddenly the marten popped up over the top.  Instantly the big owl flared her wings and the marten retreated back down the snag to disappear into the dead fall below.  For the next minute the female owl kept her wings flared as she watched the marten bound away to the north.

     An hour later, the owl once again became alert and Cindy spotted the marten passing by thirty yards behind the nest.

     Later, the female hopped up to the cavity top and began staring at the ground.  A few seconds and the owl dropped off the edge and hit the ground.  I found an opening and spotted her sitting with a mouse in her bill.  After a bit the owl flew to a perch above the nest, then floated down to the cavity where she fed the tiny mouse to one of the chicks.  We didn't see the male bring in any food and left at 11am.

     June 19th    Arrived at 6:45am.  Marten passed between myself and the nest.  Instantly the female was up and popping her bill.  As the marten entered the forest to the north, the big owl jumped up to the lip of the snag and glared into the trees.  Suddenly she lifted off disappearing into the woods where the intruder had just gone.  Then I heard a loud thump!  A couple minutes later she was back on the nest.

     June 20th  Arrived at 8am.  Around 9am marten suddenly leaped out of a spruce below me and to my left.  It instantly disappeared in the deadfall.  Rained all morning.  No food arrived.


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Great Gray Owl Nest