Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

Owl Monitoring Notebook


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Welcome to the HBBO Owl Monitoring Notebook.
Great Horned, Barn, Barred, Burrowing, and Eastern Screech-Owl all use artificial structures for roosting and nesting in Central Texas. Please submit your observations of roosting and nesting owls in the form below--including date and location of observation, location and description of nesting or roosting structure, any nesting activity observed, etc.

Note: Roosting and nesting owls are susceptible to disturbance by human activities. Please do not give exact directions to nesting or roosting owl sites, but do give street name if possible and general descriptions of locations (eg. backyard screech-owl box located 15 feet up in a live oak tree on Pecos Street in Tarrytown neighborhood of west Austin).

E-mail address:
Owl species:
Observations and comments:

Posted Observations:

Name: CS
Owl species: Great Horned Owl
Location: Mills Pond, Wells Branch (North Austin) 78728
Date posted: Sat Feb 24 00:25:28 2018

At least one resident great horned owl greets sunrise and sunset from a tree near the pond.

Name: Larry Linenschmidt
Owl species: Barred
Location: Hornsby Bend
Date posted: Mon May 23 16:21:42 2016

Observed 2 young Barred Owls on May 21, an adult in the same area on May 22. Did not see a nest, did not see the young birds again on May 22.

Name: Jarrett Hayman
Owl species: Barred Owl
Location: Williamson Creek near South First street.
Date posted: Fri Dec 18 10:00:50 2015

Sometime near 3:30 PM, on 12/13/15. Was walking through the riparian area around Williamson Creek, spotted a Barred Owl through binoculars. It seemed to be roosting in the treetops thee.

Name: Rebecca Brenneman
Owl species: Great Horned Owl
Location: Spicewood Springs Road and Scotland Well, NW Austin
Date posted: Wed Apr 16 16:47:16 2014

3 times throughout Feb and March around 3 am I heard a Great Horned Owl hooting, probably for only 15 minutes. But it was hard to know since I was not supposed to be awake, and went back to bed soon. I was excited though!

Name: Kevin Michael Anderson
Owl species: GH, Barn, Barred
Location: Hornsby Bend
Date posted: Mon Nov 25 11:44:53 2013

All owl species very active and calling now as breeding season is here.

Name: Aditya
Owl species: Great Horned
Location: NW Austin
Date posted: Thu Mar 28 18:34:35 2013

Female GHO has been nesting for the past 6 weeks on a tall tree in a canyon in NW Austin. Canon has a trail accessible for spice wood springs road & scottland wells drive. If anyone is visiting the trail and would like to see the owl, email me.

Name: sku
Owl species: barn owl
Location: williamson county, county road 110 and county road 105
Date posted: Fri Mar 22 22:50:28 2013

A barn owl regularly lands on my chimney top at about 2am and sends several inquisitive 'whoo whoo' hoots down into my living room like a cheerleader using a megaphone. My backyard is the nesting area for bunches of cottontails, and since they are mostly nocturnal, I have a feeling the owl uses my yard like a Las Vegas buffet! :)

Name: Sheila Sorvari & Mark Sterling
Owl species: Eastern Screech
Location: United States
Date posted: Sat Mar 3 20:47:44 2012

I am not experienced birder, but I had what I believe is an Eastern Screech owl in my back yard near Garrison Park- 78745.

Name: Courtney Schmoker
Owl species: eastern screech
Location: On Joe Sayers (Brentwood neighborhood)
Date posted: Tue Feb 15 01:30:40 2011

In a large pecan tree in branch right up against the house and under the roof awning. The whole family nests there during the spring and summer, but then usually only 1 or 2 stick around for the rest of the year.

Name: Ronnie Kramer
Owl species: Great-Horned Owl
Location: Pioneer Village East
Date posted: Wed Dec 22 10:33:47 2010

6:30 a.m. at least 4 great-horned owls heard within 100 feet of the back door. Two of them seen.

Name: Nora Dock
Owl species: Screech Owl
Location: Breeze Terrace in Cherrywood Neighborhood of East Austin
Date posted: Wed Apr 28 17:03:02 2010

Beautiful screech owl has taken up residence in oak tree in front yard of residence. There is a hole in the tree about 20 feet up the trunk. Pokes his/her head out of the hole in the early evening hours.

Name: Trudie Redding
Owl species:
Location: Along the 1400 block of Kirkwood road in the alley
Date posted: Wed Apr 28 16:52:15 2010

huge owl, 18 in tall at least, tan body, black wings with small white markings lives in the alley behind the 1400 block of kirkwood, black eyes, hunts about 230 am each night after all the cars have settled in the neighborhood, but one day saw him early am sitting in the crook of of my dead sicamore tree while woodpeckers on the other side of the tree tapped

Name: June Crow
Owl species:
Location: Willowbrook Reach greenbelt, 38 1/2 and Cherrywood (east side)
Date posted: Wed Apr 28 12:12:13 2010

beautiful owl at dusk. don't know what kind.

Name: David Boston
Owl species: Great Horned, Barred or Little Brown and Screech
Location: Willowbrookreach, Between Cheerywood, 381/2 and Brookview
Date posted: Tue Apr 27 18:39:58 2010

Screech Owls nest here in natural tree cavities, the others are frequent visitors and possibly Resident/Nesting but unsure.

We are trying to improve habitat but the area is targeted for watershed improvements that may reduce or eliminate the habitat for Owls and other birds.

Name: Nancy Cotton
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: Backyard, Oakview Dr., Round Rock, TX 78681
Date posted: Thu Apr 8 15:25:52 2010

For past three years have had owls nesting in a nest box in our live oak tree in the backyard (about 15 feet up). Last season had three babies fledge. This year, we have a bird cam in the box and have observed five eggs that should be hatching sometime this week.

Name: Sydna Hall
Owl species: small gray owl and larger burnt orange owl
Location: my backyaard 28 Meandering Way Round Rock TX 78664
Date posted: Sun Mar 14 00:17:10 2010

Two screech owls have nested in our owl houses for 3 years now. They sit and watch us and allow us to get within 7 or 8 feet of the house to take pictures. This is the first year we've seen the burnt orange owl. When the babies hatch, we only see them a few days percherd outside the nest and then they practice flying one day - and they're gone. Last year we found 2 of them on the groud in a bush under the owl house. They click their little beaks together to make scary sounds. My husband caught them and put them back in the nest.

Name: Pamela L
Owl species: barred
Location: Jones Road
Date posted: Thu Nov 12 21:08:25 2009

I have been watching this owl for several months. I do not know for sure where the nest is, but I have 2.5 acres of woods with hollow trees and neighbor has 5 wooded acres. This owl is out at dust and early dawn almost every day. It does not show much fear when I walk around and I can go up to the tree that it is in.

Name: Linda
Owl species: Eastern Screech
Location: Cassady Dr 78727
Date posted: Tue Oct 27 21:37:02 2009

No sighting of owl since March but previously had been at this location for six months. As of October 25, 2009 there is a roosting Screech Owl in the box once more. Box is located over fifteen feet in a box on a cedar elm.

Name: Denise Berry
Owl species: barred owl??
Location: southwest austin
Date posted: Wed Sep 2 15:46:20 2009

Two small owls have been nesting in our Crepe Myrtle tree about 8 feet up. They have been here since May.

Name: Austin O'Hagan
Owl species: Burrowing Owl
Location: Southwest Austin - Brodie & William Cannon Region
Date posted: Mon Jul 6 22:43:23 2009

At dusk, backyard of typical single family home in a subdivision. Backyard is heavily forested with 6-8 inch diameter Live Oak trees. Three (3) Owls sighted on fence line, on tree branches, and swooping along the ground preying on insects. They gathered together and seemed to follow each other through the yard. We observed them for nearly ten minutes, they didn't seem to mind as they moved about and caught prey within 15 feet of us. This is the third or fourth sighting of these owls, usually they have been in pairs, tonight was the most number we've seen at once. Because I thought they were hawks at first, due to their posture on the fence, I want to say they were Burrowing Owls, but I can't be certain because light is always too low.

Name: M. McClellan
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owls gray morph
Location: Barton Hills, Austin
Date posted: Thu Feb 26 13:27:49 2009

I have two owl shacks with male and female owls who have returned from last year. The female has nested in the box this year since Oct 08, the male is just now starting to show up.

Name: clara morin
Owl species: large wing spang owl,unknown
Location: 130 Tollroad over Colorado River
Date posted: Wed Aug 6 09:49:09 2008

around middle of May 2008,11:00pm,as we were driving over the bridge,this large,very large owl flew right into the passager door,scared the crap out of us.am very sorry to report that the owl died,as witness by my brother the next day.Would like to know why this incident occured.

Name: Jennie Rutlede
Owl species: Great Horned Owl
Location: Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown Village off of Shell Road
Date posted: Fri Apr 4 00:40:37 2008

Every morning for two weeks in March there was a Great Horned Owl that visited me every morning between 6 AM and 7 AM. It was amazing to see. I would get out there before it would arrive. I have 2 big Live Oak Trees that hang over my back yard and it would land there making noise every morning. Amazing! I have had little screech owls in the past back there, but nothing like the Great Horned Owl. Really Neat!

Name: Katherine Murray
Owl species: Screech Owl
Location: Southwest Austin, Alexandria Dr and Mauai Dr.
Date posted: Mon Sep 10 14:15:11 2007

Our owl box yielded three babies this year. Saw all three fledge in May, 2007. I've seen the owl boxes at Wild Birds Unlimited, but I hear there are others that sell them. If you buy one I would suggest caulking the roof between the boards to keep moisture out. Throw some cedar chips inside to help keep pests down.

Name: Wyatt
Owl species: Screech Owl??
Location: Backyard Live Oak Tree, Humphrey Drive, North West Austin
Date posted: Tue May 29 22:41:04 2007

We have seen a mother and 5 of her babies in our back yard on two different evenings over the past week. We have several good close up photos and would love to share if anyone is interested. We are not sure of the species and would love someone to identify from our photos. Also, where do we get an owl shack?

Name: Christine Anderson
Owl species: Eastern screech
Location: backyard owl shack - about 20 feet up in live oak tree in backyard of Edgerock Drive in Northwest Hills
Date posted: Fri Feb 16 16:47:35 2007

Our first sighting of the little guy was February 9th around 6:45 p.m. We saw him pop up from inside the owl shack and sit in the opening for about 25 minutes. He then took off to begin his evening rounds of foraging, etc. We are purchasing a second box so that he (or she) can have a mate. Baby owls would be fun to watch!

Name: Ti Mougne
Owl species: not sure, only saw big wing span & big body in flight & then again, but only its large silhoutte perched in a tree
Location: Broadmoor Dr. in Windsor Park neighborhood, near 51st St in Austin, TX
Date posted: Fri Sep 8 23:33:20 2006

2 sightings of large owl right in my own urban backyard! First sighting was at dusk a month or so ago. I saw the owl gliding over our backyard. Second sighting (I'm assuming it was the same owl) was around 6 am this morning (it was still dark outside). I first heard the owl out my bedroom window. I got up and went outback to try to find it. I saw the owl perched high in my neighbor's tree on a bare limb. It had a low whoo-whoo call. It was a very peaceful sound. I watched it for about 5 minutes and saw it watching over everything. It kept whooing and turning its head in both directions. It was truly amazing. I think it must live close by. We have a creek across the street and an open field on the other side of the creek. I'm sure it has plenty of rodents to feast on.

Name: Enora Fant
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: Gold Road Wimberley, T.X.
Date posted: 04/10 2006 08:10 PM

Name: Tammy Schuster
Location: South Austin off I.H35
Owl species: White ?
Date posted: 12/22 2005 09:19 AM

I don't know if these owls are still there, it was about 8 months ago since I saw them, but I know they have been there for many many years, we use to play in the barn years ago and the owls were there then. They are in trouble. It is about to be torn down for a stupid strip mall.They are marking it off as I write, is there anything we can do? If they are still in there they are in trouble. These owls are awsome they were pure white.
Name: Trish Anderson
Owl species: great horned owl
Location: northest Plano, in our backyard in a densely populated area!
Date posted: 12/05 2005 01:51 PM

Last night I heard an owl from about 11:30 p.m. to midnight. For the first ten minutes he sounded like he was on the neighbor's fence about fifty feet away, then he landed on our chimney and stayed there for about ten minutes, calling regularly. His hooting was amplified down our chimney and it sounded like he was almost in the room with me. I very quietly went outside and crossed the street and I could see his silhouette. I went back in and about five minutes later he swooped into our backyard. I think he may have used our birdbath, but it is in a protected area and I couldn't see him. I didn't know what kind of owl it was, but I went to ebirdbrain.com and found the song, identifying it as a great horned owl. How wonderful to hear such a magnificent owl, and how surprising that he chose our densely populated area. Last September I also spotted a screech owl while I was on an evening walk. It was just past dusk, and he was up in a live oak tree singing his little head off. He had a wavery, spooky call, and did not seem bothered a bit by me and my husband watching him.
Name: Michael Sullivan
Location: Dallas
Owl species: eastern screech owl
Date posted: 11/30 2005 11:56 PM

I spotted this pair of owls around September after hearing mobbing from other birds. One grey and one red I guess they're a couple and they roost in my pecan trees. I have built an owl box and actually saw them in it Nov. 26 only to find squirrels in it the very next day. I need help keeping the squirrels away. Any suggestions?
Name: Joe Paschal
Location: 2558 CR 308, Orange Grove, Texas
Owl species: Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl
Date posted: 11/02 2005 11:42 AM

The property is our family ranch, Tecolote Creek Ranch, wwww.tcrgenetics.com... Tecolote is Sapnish for Owl. Joe
Name: Katherine Murray
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl-Red Morph
Location: Maple Run subdivision, SW Austin
Date posted: 12/10 2004 08:58 AM

On evening walk saw a perching red screech owl. It was about 5:20 and the tree was pretty small and near street. Was very close to him, maybe 8 feet away. Observed owl again at 5:30 on second loop around the block in same location. I'll check again tonight. I have an owl box in my backyard and last spring had gray screech owls nest there, with two fledglings seen.
Name: Jennifer Maxwell
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl- Red
Location: Heard Wildlife Sanctuary- McKinney, TX
Date posted: 04/25 2004 04:30 AM

We have two red morph EASO nesting in duck boxes at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, TX,just north of Dallas.
Name: Rob Fergus
Owl species: Barn Owl
Date posted: 03/19 2004 04:27 AM

You can see inside a barn owl nest at:
Name: Andy & Julia Balinsky
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: backyard screech-owl box in University Hills neighborhood, NE Austin
Date posted: 03/16 2004 07:46 AM

Red-morph Eastern Screech Owl first noticed morning of March 5, 2004. We've watched a nightly flight at dusk and twice have seen the owl return to the box at dawn. A second owl(gray)also seen leaving nest box at dusk March 14.
Name: Rob Fergus
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: Oak Hill, Austin, TX
Date posted: 02/10 2004 09:56 AM

The full link to John Ingram's page may not be coming through--you can navigate to the pages yourself by looking for the "Red" the Screech Owl pages in the gallery section of www.windowsonnature.com.

Name: Rob Fergus
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: Oak HIll, Austin, TX
Date posted: 02/10 2004 09:53 AM

Photos of the red-morph screech owl roosting in a box near Austin are on John Ingram's website at:
Notice the square box opening and weathered, unfinished exterior. This bird was found earlier this winter using a roosting box near Austin. Red-morph screech owls are rare in Central Texas.
Name: Jennifer Maxwell
Owl species: Barn owl
Location: internet nest box cam
Date posted: 02/07 2004 04:06 AM

Cornell university has live camera up on a pair of barn owls in a box. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/nestboxcam/index.html
It's really cool!
Name: Jennifer Maxwell
Owl species: Eastern Screech Owl
Location: McKinney, TX
Date posted: 01/27 2004 04:12 AM

I have had Screech Owls roost in my duck boxes several times. I monitor boxes at the Heard Natural Scienc Museum & Sanctuary. At least one box, possibly two,are being used as roosts right now. The same two boxes that have been used in the last two years. Two years ago I had what appeared to be Screech owl eggs also. Later a Wood Duck took over the box though. Is there any way to discourage the Wood ducks once an owl has taken a box?
Name: kevin anderson
Owl species: barred
Location: hornsby bend
Date posted: 01/24 2004 09:54 AM

once again we spotted the barred owl perched on the wires along Platt Lane this morning

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