Saturday, March 9, 2013

Found Them

In my last post I told of how we went looking for long-eared owls and found a saw-whet owl instead. Patty had never seen a long-eared and was understandably disappointed.

Jump forward into the new year. We were at a local nature park to see a rufus hummingbird that had obviously gotten lost and which was spending the winter in New Jersey (they are a species of the American west). A birder friend we met there asked if we were interested in seeing owls. Of course we were. And off we went.

Here is an image of the owl. See it? It is dead center in the image (click to bigafy).

Had we not been led to the bird we never would have found it. Here's a close up:

The owl has its eye on us, clearly aware of our presence and thus we kept our distance, not wishing to disturb it.

The roosting site is one I had visited a number of times before, but I was unaware of the owls. Patty had visited specifically to see owls, but that day there were no owls to be seen. This suburban woodland also had roosting saw-whets and we observed several that day. We learned later that both species have been using the site for years. The owls have likely moved on by now, leaving winter roosts for breeding territories. Hopefully they will return next winter. I find it amazing that less than ten miles from my home, in a relatively small woodland in suburban New Jersey, there are not one but two wintering species of owls, and have been for years. Nice.


LauraHinNJ said...

Someone's very good at keeping a secret, I guess.

(as they probably should be!)

Glad you (and Patty!) got to see them.

Anonymous said...

I think they found you! :) Great find and captures!

MevetS said...

@ Laura, apparently a lot of people are good at keeping secrets. Seems everyone but me knew about these owls.

@ Tammy, the owls definitely see more people than see them.