Yellowstone Reports

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Owl Studies Continues

Still not great
by Dan Hartman

March 10, 2019

     After failing on my initial venture out to listen for singning owls, I tried again on the 5th. 
     Post #1 was silent, but Post #1.5 gave me my first singing owl of the season.  He was just north of the road about 125 yards.
     Nothing more until Post #3.5.  A boreal was blasting away just above me to the south.  Then it quickly changed into a prolong call, meaning he had attracted a mate! 
     My next song came from far to the south at Post #5.5.
     A good night.  It's obviously not going to be a great year.  Heck, in the past, I've gotten as many as a dozen boreals calling on a single night.  But, the prolong song is significant.
     Out again the next night, Cindy and I heard one boreal.  However, it was at Post #3.5  where I heard the prolong song the night before.
     On the 8th we got two singing boreals.  Once again at Post #3.5 and another at Post #4.  The same place we had heard one back on February 1st.
     Last night, we got only one song,but it was Post #1.5, the same place we heard one on the 5th.
     Today I snowshoed in to where we heard the boreal last night.  The snowshoeing was not good at times.   The snow was 40 inches deep and I was attempting to zig zag up a steep incline.  I didn't make it as high as I would have liked, but I still made it far enough to locate two cavities the owl is probably considering for nesting sites.
     Note:  While the owl study has begun kinda slowly, we've seen other wildlife.  Moose, bison, flying squirrel, fox and marten have all passed in front of our headlights.

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View slide show

Boreal Owl

Snowy Roads

Cindy Listening

Dark Night

Possible Nest Site