Author Topic: News: Owls  (Read 21852 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2014, 14:25 »
Great horned owls set bodies to defrost
by Jan Bergstrom, South Carolina Times / 3 Jan 2014

Imagine being outside 24 hours a day, in January, in Minnesota. Imagine being an accomplished hunter, capable of caching extra food to get you through hard times. Then imagine having no source of heat to thaw this lifesaving cache to make it edible. What would you do?

If you were a great horned owl, you would incubate it. Great horned owls regularly stash extra food, but their razor sharp bills are made for shredding and tearing, not hammering away at a frozen piece of meat. Lacking any other way of breaking up the food, it does what any self-respecting predator would do: It sits on it until it thaws.

This is just one of the great horned owl’s adaptations that makes it master of the winter woods. Every inch of its body is adapted to surviving our cold, stressful winters.

More tricks

Owls’ facial discs consist of feathers that funnel sound toward their ears, allowing them to hear sounds that are one-tenth the volume that humans are capable of hearing. Their ears are small holes, one slightly larger and one slightly higher than the other. This allows sound to reach their ears at different times, allowing them to pinpoint the exact distance as well as the direction of the sound, even under a dense blanket of snow. Their hearing is so keen, they can hunt almost entirely by ear.

Great horned owls grow more camouflaged feathers in the winter to keep out the cold air. They seem oblivious to the brutal conditions. This allows them to perch tirelessly on branches, waiting for unsuspecting prey to venture into their territory. They also can cruise the night skies without going into a state of lowered metabolism like many other winter birds.

The front edges of the owl’s primary flight feathers are fringed, allowing air to pass noiselessly over them. Their prey never hears them coming as they swoop in for the prize.

Diet, habitat

Although mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, weasels, mice and cats make up 75 percent of the great horned owl’s diet, they also prey upon more than 50 species of birds. Songbirds in the winter huddle at night, often going into a state of controlled hypothermia. They seek refuge among dense branches of trees or beneath loose, peeling bark. Oblivious to the outside world, their heart rate decreases, breathing slows and metabolism drops. Picking the wrong spot can be fatal. Great horned owls use their superb vision to spot the sleeping avians, plucking them before they can even wake up.

Great horned owls have the largest range of any owl in North America. They are equally content in woods, fields, desert, grasslands, suburbs and just about any place south of the polar tree line. In our area, they tend to prefer farmland mixed with wooded areas, although they can be found anywhere, 24 hours a day, even in the winter. Keep your eyes open and you just may see one “incubating” its supper.

Offline RCF

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2013, 21:22 »
 LOUISVILLE, Ky
Snowy owl rescued after being spotted near Westport Road


“The morning we caught him he was standing next to the pavement trucks [and they] were going by him, he wasn’t moving,” Sally Seyal from Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky said.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/snowy-owl-rescued-being-spotted-012103894.html


Offline dupre501

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2013, 15:43 »
TPC previously posted -
Quote
BC shooting one owl species to save another
So not just in BC, but in the US as well.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/u-s-begins-killing-barred-owls-to-help-spotted-owl-1.2472489

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2013, 15:55 »
Shaking my head.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/12/09/report-port-authority-targeting-snowy-owls-at-jfk/

This kind of mass numbers is called an irruption as I recall ... there are a lot of snowies in New Brunswick as well.  A biologist I know suggested the cause might have been good small mammal numbers last year so many more owls have to go further to find food.  Likely he is right.

Offline Doreen

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Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2013, 21:24 »
Yes! And about a month ago, I attended an Owl Workshop that Jim Duncan was giving at McNally-Robinson Community Classroom. It was very interesting and he even brought in a Great Horned Owl, I think, that he & his wife had rescued and who now lives in their house with them! He said it sometimes flies around in their kitchen! :o

Offline photosbydennis

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2013, 11:06 »

Offline moka

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2013, 11:02 »
Very interesting article, thank you.

Dennis met a couple studying owls this winter... wonder if it's the same couple.

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2013, 07:06 »
Great story in today's Free Press about the Great Greys in Manitoba.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/greys-anatomy-200693471.html

Offline bcbird

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2013, 11:49 »
An appalling decision.   

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2013, 23:06 »
I hear you, Elaine. It really is too bad that it has come to this.  >:(

Offline Elaine L

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2013, 22:39 »
This is so discouraging.  If only governments had set aside suitable land years ago, we would not have this situation now.  I cannot imagine how we could come to the point where we have to kill one species in the hope that another will survive.  I just don't know what to say, except that the politics of greed just never ends.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2013, 18:30 »
BC shooting one owl species to save another
Dene Moore, The Associated Press
27 Jan 2013, The Metro News


VANCOUVER – The British Columbia government has approved the shooting one species of owl in a last-ditch effort to save their endangered cousins, as the number of northern spotted owls continues to decline decades after they became the mascot of the “War in the Woods” over old-growth logging.

Northern spotted owls are on the brink of extinction in Canada, with only 10 birds remaining in the wild in southwestern B.C., according to some estimates.

The situation is so grave that over the past five years the provincial Forests and Lands Ministry has relocated 73 and authorized the shooting of 39 barred owls, the larger and more aggressive bird encroaching on the spotted owls’ limited habitat.

“Barred owls have invaded all spotted owl habitat,” said Ian Blackburn, the provincial government’s spotted owl recovery co-ordinator.

Relocation or elimination of barred owls is limited to a five-kilometre radius around areas where spotted owls have recently been confirmed, or areas being considered for reintroduction from a captive breeding program.



Read the rest of the story here:  http://metronews.ca/news/canada/525988/b-c-shooting-one-owl-species-to-save-another/

Offline photosbydennis

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2012, 07:10 »
Possible but not likely an owl during the day and I don't believe they are pole perchers...could have been another raptor  ???

Offline sami

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Re: News: Owls
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2012, 00:19 »
Haven't seen any snowies on my way home from Selkirk for a couple of weeks now, but did see a rather large bird take off from a pole in the general area where I've seen snowies. Couldn't get a good look at it, definitely bigger than a raven or hawk, but not as big as an eagle. All I could really tell was that it was fairly dark in colour. Might it have been a large owl? Do they sit up on hydro poles along highways in open prairie?