These birds, I’m telling you. On Thursday I heard a owl in my neighbor’s yard call out, and shortly after I heard a reply a couple blocks north. Seconds later an owl swooped overhead into my neighbor’s yard and vanished in the greenery. I couldn’t see either of them while they had a vigorous monkey-noises chat. But what did it mean? Neither had been in the tree. Is someone lurking to watch over a populated nest, and just much more cautious than Henrietta was? Or are they just local owls who didn’t successfully breed this year?

Tonight I heard a solicitation and dragged myself out back, prepared to be frustrated again. But suddenly, Simon appeared, just over my left shoulder. Then I heard a scrabbling and saw Daphne pop out of the tree — she prefers the southeastern entrance, where Henrietta always used the northwestern. Here’s a screengrab of the popping-out.

So there I was, on the porch, with Simon feet above me on the left and Daphne feet above me on the right. We all looked at each other for a few seconds. Then the feathery couple flew off to the west — but I’m sure they didn’t go far. Video: