by Dr. Jack Scanlon Each year in mid-February, the dozen wood duck nesting boxes on our Dorchester County farm are inspected, repaired if necessary, then cleaned and refilled with wood chips. Each box prov ides clues about last springâ€™s nesting activity, and often holds a few surprises when its small wooden observation door is opened.
Frequently an Eastern Screech Owl (Magascops asio) has taken over the box for its own nesting activities. That was true again this year. Blinky was back. The meta l latching hook slid easily from the eye that had been screwed into the access door. It took some effort to raise the hatch and peer inside because a year had
Blinky was surprised, and more than a little annoyed, when I opened the observation door of the wood duck box. 165