Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good time for owling

Here in Connecticut owls and owling are more associated with colder seasons - the end of fall, beginning of spring, and the winter. We certainly have more species around to find during some of those times as well with more individuals of species like Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owl and the addition of others like Snowy Owl, during irruptive years, and Short-eared Owl.

However, August is a subtly good time to stick your head out the window on a nice evening or sit outside for a while after dark. One night last week around midnight I heard not one but two Eastern Screech-Owls calling while I was inside with the windows closed and while I had my television on. They were not even really close to my house, either. They were calling over one another as loudly as they could. I thought I was just excessively tired at first, but I was happy to see...or hear...that I was wrong.

Our friend Frank Mantlik reminded me the next day that early last August he had a similar experience in his home with an Eastern Screech-Owl. Later that morning a Twitter user following our Connecticut Audubon Society account at replied us to say he had the same Eastern Screech-Owl experience that night. When I mentioned it to CAS Coastal Center Director Frank Gallo, he told me he heard a Great Horned Owl, yes, that very same night. That is fantastic for some unprovoked owling!

Somehow, Twan knew to go outside and check things out around midnight as I had, but all he heard was a gray fox, one of Connecticut's rare mammals. We don't feel too bad for him. I definitely think everyone should keep their ears open all night long during August to see how many more owls we can record the easy way. Is this a good time for dispersal of young or are territories being set up all over? What do you think the reason for the calling season is?

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

No comments:

Post a Comment