Monday, March 22, 2010

Owls calling

This evening I hiked up the Happy Creek Trail and put up 2 more duck nest boxes on the upper beaver ponds. I'll do the last 2 tomorrow evening. Carrying a box in each hand all the way up there is hard work. It doesn't seem they weigh much but carrying them for a few km on slippery trails definitely got my arms complaining. The highlight was a barred owl that decided to hoot a few times from pretty close range while I was putting up the first box. I absolutely love barred owl calls. It only called twice. I waited awhile and then tried to imitate it but got no response.

After I hung the second box I detoured off the trail to check one of my old pileated woodpecker cavity trees and got rewarded when a boreal owl stuck it's head out of the hole right at dusk. It didn't stay at the entrance for more than 15 seconds and no amount of scratching on the tree could get it to look out again. There were downy feathers stuck to the entrance which could mean this little owl might have been using that woodpecker hole for some time. Two owls in one evening was pretty good fortune in my books. Some of the Whisky-jack club folks went out last Saturday night and got a northern saw-whet owl calling on the downstream boardwalk loop along Happy Creek. This is the time of year when one is most likely to find an owl or two calling from just before dark on into the night.

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