We can’t know for certain, but based on what we’ve observed, we are certain they are at least seven years old. Mrs. Tiger has laid eggs 6 times at our house. The first two times, she did not brood (incubate) them. We believe it’s possible that she was not yet mature enough to brood eggs. However, we know that GHOs typically aren’t able to lay eggs until at least a year old. So assuming she hasn’t laid any prior eggs before she laid them at our house, she would have been at least one when she laid the first eggs, and has done so six consecutive years here, making her at least seven years old. We would assume Mr. Tiger is of similar age, though there’s no way to confirm that.
The most obvious question, to me anyway, is “Why are they nesting in that particular place?”
We can never know for sure, but observation has led many to conclude this is, albeit an unlikely, but very strategic choice for a nest location. It is atypical in that it is an urbanized setting, surrounded by human activity ranging from kids playing outside just feet away, to normal neighborhood traffic. However, the nest enjoys nearly 60% shelter, as it rests inside an in-set window box protected both by the wall of the house and the eve of the roof just above it. The color of the house provides potential camouflage very similar in color to their markings. From a strategic standpoint, it is almost fully protected from the predators they are up against in a typical nesting site. No roaming animals could access the nest, leaving it open only to other larger birds of prey, or the occasional curious human landlord.
At any given moment, there are several hundred owl oglers, and by all accounts they’re having a wonderful time.