Friday, April 5, 2013

Owl Returns: Hoot Hoot Hooray!

Our neighbor's yard is just over 1.5 acres, wooded, slightly larger than ours, and they also have a little biddy pond. Over the years they have continued to plant lots of Florida native plants; Beautyberry, Stoppers, Wild Coffee, Firebush, Firecracker etc., and indeed when this city raised family moved in next door they were very helpful in getting us off on the right foot by suggesting shrubs and trees to support the local wildlife. Their yard supports an abundance of wildlife for sure.
Mature Slash Pine
Their enthusiasm for encouraging and providing nesting, feeding and stop-over places for birds and butterflies alike became my passion too. Indeed over the years hubbie and I have grown from seed and planted many new Slash Pine Trees (see my blog Pine Tree Magic), and plants and shrubs that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. We also put up nesting boxes, and didn't immediately take down any dying or bug infested trees (known as snags) but left them for the Woodpeckers - who will move into a bug infested tree almost immediately. 

Consequently a tad of friendly rivalry has developed over who gets to "host the hooters." My neighbors had painted their new box a bright yellow, and they were thrilled last year to have the Screech Owls nest in the box, while I pouted next door with a box full of squirrels (do I REALLY need any more of those?)

Anyhoot, without further preamble, guess who got the Mama Screech Owl's seal of approval this year?

Sometimes, the shabby chic-vintage look works. And check out those little teeny tiny deadly claws. Wouldn't want to be a little critter. Mouse Hears a (W)Hoo! Oh No!

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