The screech-owl that hatched a duckling now has owlets

Adult Eastern Screech-Owl with an owlet. Photo by Laurie Wolf

Two weeks ago, we reported on the Eastern Screech-Owl that remarkably hatched a young Wood Duck in a Florida backyard nest box. A few hours after the duckling appeared in the entrance hole of the box next to its step-parent, the young bird jumped from the box and scurried off toward a neighbor’s pond, presumably to join its Wood Duck parents. Now, the homeowner, Laurie Wolf, an artist and photographer, reports that the screech-owl has her own young to care for. 

On April 27, Wolf saw an owlet pop up alongside the adult screech-owl, and then a few minutes later, a second owlet appeared next to its sibling. Exactly one year earlier, on April 27, 2018, a similar thing happened: a young owlet first showed itself in the next box with its parent. Last year, the pair only had one chick. This year, they have at least two. 

“We don’t know if there might be a third owlet, but I doubt very much that three heads would ever fit in that doorway,” she says. “As far as we know, there are only the two of them. We see them usually twice a day, mid-morning between 10 and 11 and in the afternoon around 5.”

Scroll down to enjoy Wolf’s photos of the growing family. 

The first owlet to emerge. Photo by Laurie Wolf
owlets
The two owlets together. Photo by Laurie Wolf

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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