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Sounds in the night

Quiet so far

by Dan Hartman
March 24, 2014

     I've been waiting to write about my boreal owl study until I had something to report.  Well, I'm now over three weeks into the singing season and I've yet to hear a single owl call.  

     I knew going in it could be a rough spring because of the snow depth, but zero boreals????

     Here is some past history:

2010    March 1st   23 inches of snow on the level

            March 31st   15 inches of snow on the level

A total of 90 boreal songs heard.  Also great horned, saw-whet, pygmy and great gray owls.

2011    March 1st 42 inches of snow on the level

             March 31st  51 inches of snow on the level

A total of 4 boreal songs heard.

2012     March 1st    41 inches of snow on the level

             March 31st   21 inches of snow on the level

A total of 69 boreal songs heard. Also great horned, saw-whet, and pygmy owls

2013     March 1st  25 inches of snow on the level

             March 31st  19 inches of snow on the level

A total of 19 boreal songs heard.

2014     March 1st  54 inches of snow on the level

              March 24th  45 inches of snow on the level

No owls calling yet.

     My study runs through April so I still have more chances for singing boreal owls.  I've been completely shut out.

     As you can see snow depth isn't the only reason for the lack of courting owls.  In 2013 we had very little snow depth, but  the absence of singing owls probably resulted in the previous dry summer which would cause low prey survival.

     Interestingly,George Bumann found a perched boreal on top of the ridge above Warm Springs.  The reason for the owl being so high could have been the wind swept slopes and the accesibility to prey.

     Len from the ranch has been hearing great horneds in Lamar Canyon nightly.  And the horned owls are back in Mammoth again this year.  

     Early next month Cindy and I'll make the drive around to Cody and Sunlight Basin to check on my great gray nests.

     Well, I'll coninue to go out until there is no longer a reason.  Mostly because I enjoy being under the stars and listening to the night.   I'll be remembering triumphs of the past and dream of adventures in the future.


Photos

View slide show

Boreal Owl Feeding On Flying Squirrel

Immature Boreal Owl

Fox In The Night




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