Yellowstone Reports

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Owl Study Continues

Things are picking up
by Dan Hartman

March 8, 2023

     Cindy and I ventured out two of the three nights following my initial excursion with Len.

     So on Monday we heard our first boreal of the night east of Post#1.5  Interesting because we had found a dead boreal right below the post last April.  Now we had one calling two hundred yards to the east.

     Our next song was heard right at my 2015 nest site at Post#3.5  This was really exciting.

     The rest of the run was silent until we reached Post#6.  A boreal was singing to the Northeast.

     We took the next night off as we were recuperating from snow removal which is getting a little old.  It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so cold!!

     We were out again on the 7th, last night.  Very cold again, five degrees dropping to negative seven later in the night.  The moon burned bright, casting shadows across the snow covered road.

     A flying squirrel glided across our headlights.  A fox trotted past, then soon after, a cow and calf moose were running ahead of us, unable to get off the road because of the high brim.  Luckily the pull off at Lower Bridge gave us a chance to ease around them.   

     At Post#1.5 the boreal was singing to the east, same spot as on the 5th.

     Nothing at Post#2  At Post#3 a new boreal was calling to the east, down by the creek.

     Post #3.5, at our 2015 nestsite, our boreal was singing away, just like two nights ago.

     Between Post#3.5 and #4 we stopped for a quick listen.  A boreal called downslope along the creek.

     Post#4 gave us our fifth owl of the night.  The same boreal Len and I heard on opening night.  He was calling from the same spot.

     Post#5 was silent.  But the owl we heard at Post#6 two nights earlier was calling in the same location.

     Nothing at Posts#7 or #8 which is our cabin, we decided to continue on to Post#9 and were rewarded with a boreal owl blasting away right beside the road.  He was calling as he flew away.

     Post#10 which is the end of our run, gave us still another boreal calling a hundred yards to the south.

     So that's the night.  Eight boreals in all!!!  Somewhat surprising with the three foot snow depth.  The cold, which is rough on us, because you can't wear a cap and still listen for owls, really doesn't seem to bother  boreals.