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Owl Survey Resumes

Not much to report..
by Dan Hartman

April 2, 2021

     My boreal owl survey continued without much success.  Night after night, Cindy and I would venture out to be met with only silence.
     We did finally hear a pair of courting great horned owls at post#3, but that's hardly worth mentioning.
     Finally on the 16th I was out alone when I heard my first boreal.  It was a regular call so no female present but what was significant was the fact it called just above my 2015 and 2019 boreal nest.
     Continuing on I heard another boreal singing above our cabin.
     That's 2 calls in one night.  In past years 4-6 calls were average nights.  A good night might have 10 or 12 singing.
     Still, it's something.   Maybe a late start?
     The next day I was working on the roof on the back side of the cabin, stepped down off the ladder and the snow collapsed.
     I twisted my knee and ankle and was on crutches so no going out at night for 10 days.  Then it got too windy to go out.
     On the 31st, Cindy and I were once again out listening in the dark.  To my disapointment we were met with silence.  However at the old nest site I mentioned earlier, the boreal was calling.  Once again, it appeared no female was present.
     This was the only song we heard.  The survey is now two thirds over and we've had only two boreals singing a total of three songs.  Only 2011 was so bad, but that was a big snow year. Conditions are perfect this year.
     Cindy and I drove all the way around to Sunlight Basin yesterday.  We wanted to check out owl and golden eagle nests in the cliffs and streams north of Cody.
     Well, the snow was too deep to get to any great gray nests, but we did pick up a horned owl nest.  Also, one of our golden eagle cave nests was occupied.  The great blue heron rookery has been taken over by a bald eagle nest.  We saw two osprey on nests, so Spring is surely here.


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