Jun 02
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Sometimes you just get lucky!

For the past six years I have been fortunate enough to have a Pileated Woodpecker periodically roosting in a Sycamore tree not more than 40 yards from my house and easily visible from my living room window. Pretty lucky and definitely cool!

As Pileated Woodpeckers pair bond for life and hold a year round territory, my roosting Pileated and its mate visit my Tail Prop suet feeder almost daily…often at the same time. Very lucky and really cool!

But my luck reached its peak this spring as my Pileated pair decided to excavate their nest in a second sycamore located right next to the original roost tree. Needless to say, the yard work has suffered greatly as most of my outdoor “chore” time has been spent watching their captivating nesting activity.

Over the Memorial Day weekend it became obvious that the three nestlings were about to fledge. The young had obtained their juvenal plumage and sat teetering on the rim of the nest hole, vocalizing cheap imitations of their parents stronger calls.

Hoping to catch the main event, I set up a Vortex Razor spotting scope on the edge of my driveway to watch every detail and armed myself with the camera on my iPhone in hope of recording the nestling’s departure.

You could say this is where my luck failed me!

After three days of almost constant surveillance, the youngsters still called the sycamore home as the sun set on Memorial Day. And yes, as you have probably already guessed, they were gone by the time I returned home from work on Tuesday night!

I may have missed the big show…but what a privileged weekend I had being able to totally immerse myself into the world of this Pileated family. A true “How cool is that!” experience and one that I would like to try to share with you.

To give you a feel for what I was observing, I have posted a video clip of Momma Pileated feeding her young at the nesting cavity.

Pretty cool! And even though they have fledged, it’s not the end of the story.

Since the three juveniles will stay with their parents in their home territory for most of the summer, I am hoping to witness one more big show – the sight of five Pileated Woodpeckers making repeated visits to the suet and peanut feeders in my backyard!

Wish me luck!

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Apr 13
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Wild Birds Unlimited’s Owl Box Cam Resident
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Everyone at Wild Birds Unlimited is excited to announce the launch of Owl Box Cam. For a second consecutive year, we have the pleasure of watching a mama Barred Owl raise her young and share in all the milestones. Currently mama is on two eggs, which should be hatching very soon!

An 11 year project, this is the second year we have successfully attracted a Barred Owl to this nesting box, located in northwest Indianapolis, Indiana. Owl Box Cam is live streaming during daylight hours (US Eastern Time).

Enjoy many of the milestones from last year’s brood (Sarah & Percy) by watching these recorded videos. With Owl Box Cam, we hope to bring people and nature together by sharing our joy and passion for the hobby of backyard bird feeding and the natural world all around us.

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May 14
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Last night we watched the owl box from our deck as both parents were calling to each other from different parts of the woods.  We could see the top of one of the owlets head as it tried to look outside at the big world and find its parents. It won’t be long until they leave the box and finish maturing outside of  the box just living in the trees. The parents will feed them all summer and we will be able to hear them calling their special hissing sound all summer.

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