Paul Noeldner, who networks with many birders in the Madison area reports: "A pair of Great Horned Owls in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve has already nested and hatched Owlets According to Chuck Henrikson with the UW Vet School, their normal nesting period in Wisconsin is Feb 14, Valentines Day to Mar 17, Saint Patricks Day. Since hatched Owlets were spotted by March 2 this year, this indicates their 32 day nesting period started at least 2 weeks earlier than normal, around the last week in January. Nelson Institute Capstone student Hannah DePorter who helped a Lakeshore Nature Preserve team implement an Owl Cam project last year, located and photographed one of the owls on their nest. The nest is an artificial wire and stick cone installed by a prior student Faye Lorenzsonn several years earlier as a research project to see if they would use a human provided box or stick nest, and which they prefer. We look forward to more pictures. The owl nest location is not being publicized to help avoid additional human presence that might disturb their natural activities.
Hannah also captured pictures of the Bock Laboratories Red-tailed Hawk nest and one of the Red-tail pair that have returned to the same nest location again this year and will soon begin laying eggs. More updates to come!
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors