I haven’t made it to the park yet today because I had to come to campus this morning, but on my way, I checked on the screech owl we first saw last week, and it is my absolute pleasure to report that there are in fact two screech owls sharing that same hole in a tree! I don’t yet have a picture of the two of them together, but the second one is obviously different from the first. Go ahead and see if you can spot that difference.
Here’s a close-up, in case that helps.
Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, nor have I doctored the film. That is indeed a “red morph (northern)” screech owl, and it sure is a beauty, eh? I was so excited, I hurried home to get my camera even before class started, instead of taking the risk of waiting until after class, as I did last week. I will keep monitoring the situation and bring you updates as the story develops.
Meanwhile, speaking of “red”, Paul Smith has a nice article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today about the irruption of redpolls he and others are seeing here in southern Wisconsin. I haven’t seen any of these little cuties yet in Estabrook, but I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled, and I’ll go for another look this afternoon. Wish me luck!