Strix the harbinger
guards the exit gate, quizzing all
Who will pass this night?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Owl Calls

Barred owl calling this evening. Lorna says that doesn't mean it's actually nesting in our house. I'm having none of her pessimism. It's MY owl until proven otherwise.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great-horned owls are born in northern Colorado in mid to late February. The adults in my neighborhood are quiet around that time. Is it the same for barred owls in southern Minn?
Butch

See this about barred owls!
www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_nc190/gtr_nc190_325.pdf
..."monitored 54 breeding attempts in boxes and determined breeding success for 52 attempts."

Old Toad said...

I'll trade you four wild turkeys that wake me up with their "gobble, gobble, gobble's" every morning at 5:15 a.m. for your owl. Yesterday morning they strolled down the center of the street as I backed out of the driveway ... and gave me a gobbley "look" (with their usual sound effects) like they were telling me to get the hell out of their turkey right-of-way!

Give me an owl "hoot" any day! Toad's love the sound ... puts 'em to sleep (and beats getting turkey wake-ups every morning!).

Gunnar Berg said...

Butsh,
I don't know. Info says "The breeding season for this species is fairly long and may last from Feb.-Aug. depending on the region." All I know is I've head them calling in Fall and Spring.

Butch said...

My great-horned owls call pretty much nonstop during mating season, then go quiet to protect eggs and babies. It says the average territory for a barred owl in old growth forest in Mn. is 228 ha., almost a sq. mi. and they prefer small rodents. So a good idea to buy a bunch of mice at the pet store and turn a few loose every day in your yard and garden. Awhile back, I tied with wire an ear corn to a stake in an opening in the trees to help the owls get the squirrels. ...keep stake flush with ground so the owls don't hit the stake. Since you would already have the mice in hand you could just tether the mice out there a couple at a time (with food and water).

Gunnar Berg said...

Buying mice and tethering them to a stake? I'm speechless.

Gunnar Berg said...

Now you got me thinking. The real issue is rabbits in the perennial beds. I can catch the rabbits with a Hav-a-Heart trap, then stake them out for the owls to catch and eat. Thereby letting the owls develop a taste for cottontail. Eh?

Butch said...

You could become the magnet/preferred dining establishment at a new corner of several barred owl territories. ...and likely wear out your high-end camera.

Butch said...

One more thing. Neighborhood foxes also developed a taste for squirrel - the anchored ear of corn gave them a close to even chance with a squirrel on the ground. Should be same for bunnies.

Gunnar Berg said...

Not good fox habitat. This neighborhood was basically a oak woods with the requisite amount of underbrush with interspersed houses when we moved here. Recently there is an unhealthy movement to "improve" things by limbing up, grubbing out and cutting down. I chose not to participate and am considered by some of my neighbors to be slothful, slovenly and possibly in violation of ordinances.

Margadant said...

Tethering mice and bunnies -- especially at Easter -- would be an indictable offense in your neighborhood.

Butch said...

re: mouse tethering - you're going to need cute little breakaway collars.
re: your landscape - Hang tough, Gunnar – you’re on the right track with keeping diversity in your property. Sterilizing the landscape results in safe haven for the four suburban rats: the winged ones (pigeons and starlings); short-tailed ones (rabbits); fuzzy-tailed ones (squirrels) and the usual ones. Humans have proven unable to control any of them and sooner or later the various forms of rats eat everything to a nubbin, including songbird eggs, etc. Homogeneity invites the extremes and is not a different principle than what happened with elk in Yellowstone and pigeons in New York City. Eventually, as has happened everywhere, foxes and then the coyotes will find the suburban rats irresistible for easy meals, and include the occasional (or frequent) cat and small dog. My neighborhood association, on a lake, in a cottonwood forest, has been sterilizing desperately for several decades and now has representation by all of the above.