Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hope for Owlets

Given the report last week of the demise of the male Barred Owl in Interlaken Park, the good news is a Barred Owl has been seen fairly consistently in and around the nest in Interlaken this week.



On Tuesday evening an owl was seen just before leaving the nest.


Friday night, for about 15 minutes, an owl moved around to three different trees near the nest. At each location it stopped and hooted a few times, but no answering calls were heard. Finally it moved up the ridge to the east and called a few more times in the distance. On a more positive note one of the neighbors reports hearing what she thought was more than one owl calling during the last week or so.

A couple of different sources have mentioned that this week is about the right time for the female to be laying eggs. If another male does not show up to bring her food it would be unlikely that a single owl could protect and warm the eggs while also hunting and feeding herself.

If you find yourself in Interlaken Park this week please watch to see if you can spot more than one owl at the same time, or in the evening if you can hear multiple owls calling back and forth from different locations. Additional proof that there are two owls working together would be very encouraging and help hold out hope for owlets this year.

You could also look at the photos above to see if you can find any differences that might indicate there is more than one bird in the photos. I do not see anything convincing…but I am trying to remain hopeful.

By the way, after reading this post, a concerned family member suggested placing a box of mice under the nesting tree…that might be a step too far.


Last Sunday a male Pileated Woodpecker (most likely Elvis) was seen feeding in a couple of holes in a tree on the way to Foster Island. This is the first time this year I remember seeing the male without the female somewhere nearby. Maybe the female is beginning to sit on eggs in the nest. Last year just about this time the Pileated Woodpeckers in Interlaken were already starting the nesting process. See the story, photos and links to videos by clicking here.

Curiously in one photo the male is looking very sleek and normal while…

…just a moment later he has raised all the individual feathers on his head. Maybe it was a reaction to some potential danger or maybe it was just a shiver. In any case he quickly put his feathers down and returned to feeding normally.

He remained feeding on the tree so long that I eventually got hungry and left while he was still working away. 

Have a great day on Union Bay…where nature lives in the city!


PS: By the way there were some interesting updates added at the end of last weeks post. Click here to read them.


  1. Last week I was walking on the road that passes by the entrance to Louisa Boren Park (near the boulder with the plaque) and saw two Pileated Woodpeckers pecking on the logs on the ground while a couple of crows watched. This was around noon.

  2. Thank you for the update! I saw the female in Interlaken yesterday morning and thought I heard the male calling nearby. They seem to have made a lot of holes this winter that look like last year's nesting hole, I think I am zeroing in on the right one but I am not completely certain.

  3. I saw an adult pileated woodpecker (I think male) and a young one pecking at fallen logs directly beside the trail just around the bend from 21st and Interlaken Blvd yesterday. I alerted a dog owner to leash her dog and good thing - I was only ten or fifteen feet away from the young one and it didn't fly away. Its feathers still looked somewhat immature and colors subdued, but it was still not that much smaller than the adult. The adult flew off across the park first, keeping an eye on me, and after about five minutes of intermittently staring at me and pecking at the log, the youngster flew away squawking almost like a duck.

    1. Thank you for the comment, noticing the young bird and notifying the dog owner. Great Job!