About Me

My photo
Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Long-eared owl country

It was getting a bit toasty when we took our lunch in the shade of a juniper.

That's when we noticed the bunny tail, a gopher skull and a weathered owl pellet.

Craig's comment: this is a winter roost for long-eared owls.

When we walked up the draw a large bird flushed from one of the junipers.

The flushed bird was a loner, but according to Craig these junipers were the winter roosting area.

We caught a better glimpse of the owl a few minutes later.

It was a straggler that decided to hang around, and it might have nested in the area.

Judging from the number of rodent skulls on the ground long-ears must be thick here in the winter, and I recalled Bill Schmoker's fascinating documentation of a similar roost in Colorado.

We set our camera under a juniper in the heart of the owl roost.

Seeing the active roost this winter will be a special treat.


Anonymous said...

When ever my son made a new friend, we'd take them hunting for owl pellets. We knew anyone whose mom let them go out again with us was definitely a friend worth keeping.

Camera Trap Codger said...

That's cool. I've always regarded them as a treasure of sorts.

Owlman said...

Treasures they are for they tell a story of a bird well adapted to catch a rodent that can "catapult 6 feet" in every direction. Impressive birds they!