Some of us will be out in the predawn darkness (and hopefully without too much wind) to listen and call for owls. Mysteriously, Whiskered Screech-Owl has never been recorded on this count even though it is very common in the more densely wooded areas (such as upper Sycamore and Yanks Canyons, the uppermost part of California Gulch near Ruby Road, and at Peña Blanca Lake). It's not uncommon to get a vocal response from a roosting owl during broad daylight if you use the imitation to attract mobbing flocks of passerines.
Other likely species are Great Horned and Western Screech, though Barn Owl is probably not rare, and if one were to be at Wise Mesa, even Short-eared would be possible. Maybe someone will flush a Long-eared Owl during the day, and there are Spotted Owls in the depths of Sycamore Canyon. Northern Pygmy-Owl is also in Sycamore Canyon, and in the lower drainages, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is a distinct possibility.
If you will be camping before or after the CBC day to look for owls, let Jake or me know so we can suggest a place to go.
Friday, December 12, 2008
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