Monday, September 30, 2013

Yard Bird #72: Owl Serendipity



Saturday afternoon there were two rarely-seen owl species discovered and reported in Salt Lake County. One was a cool little Northern Saw-whet Owl at Garr Ranch, a migrant bird hot spot on Antelope Island. The second species was a Long-eared Owl at Bountiful Pond. The word about both owls went out quickly via a local listserv, email, phone, etc. Shortly after both owls were reported people began to report that the owls had flushed and could not be found.

I remember the first time I heard about a Long-eared Owl through a public listserv and how I was quick to drive to the owl and take pictures. The next day the owl was gone from a roost it had been using regularly until that time. I'm sure I was one of the reasons the owl chose to leave its regular roost. Saturday's events seemed, to me, to be a good reminder of birding etiquette when it comes to reporting sensitive bird species broadly. I shared a post with the birding community Saturday evening in an effort to use the flushing owls as a reminder for each of us to be careful when reporting and approaching roosting owls. I wasn't passing judgment on anyone. I was, however, realizing I needed to hold myself accountable and was genuinely thinking about the owls.

Imagine my surprise when I looked out my backdoor just before sunset Sunday evening and saw a fluffy Western Screech Owl perched on top of the shepherd's hook from which one of my hummingbird feeders was hanging. I was able to watch the owl with my son, his wife, and my wife for about 30 minutes before it grew dark enough for the owl to depart for an early evening hunt. It seemed as if the owl stopped by to say, " Thanks for thinking of us and encouraging others to respect our space when we are trying to roost." Serendipitous.

Here are a few images of Sunday night's owl. 

Western Screech Owl Perched Above Hummingbird Feeder in Pleasant Grove, UT
Western Screech Owl Perched Above Hummingbird Feeder in Pleasant Grove, UT
Western Screech Owl Perched Above Hummingbird Feeder in Pleasant Grove, UT


Western Screech Owl on Spruce in Pleasant Grove, UT

Western Screech Owl on Spruce in Pleasant Grove, UT


2 comments:

  1. What a great catch!

    Robyn MacDuff
    RINS

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was a unique opportunity for sure, Robyn.

    ReplyDelete