Sunday, December 25, 2016

Six Owl Day!

December 24, 2016

Richard Stevens:

Another nice winter day in Colorado, temperatures reached the low 50s; winds were 10-11 mph, gusts to 14 mph.  It was colder than yesterday for sure.

Terry Michaels and I drove to Sedalia searching for waxwings (preferably Bohemian Waxwings).  Two hours before sunrise, we walked along Rampart Range Road at Highway 67.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to our recordings.  No Northern Saw-whet Owls were found this morning.

After sunrise, we heard the drumming of a male American Three-toed Woodpecker.  It took another 20 minutes to find the woodpecker along Hwy 67 at 40 yards east of Rampart Range Road.

At the Sedalia cemetery, we did run into a flock of eight Cedar Waxwings, two Townsend's Solitaires and some Pine Siskins. 

Yesterday I ran into a fisherman at Aurora Reservoir who had an owl on his property.  I thought, a Great Horned Owl, however when he explained the size, it caught my attention.

Returning from Douglas County, Terry and I visited his ranch in Weld County.  He graciously showed us the evergreen where the owl had been for the past four days.  To our surprise, it was a Northern Saw-whet Owl!

That is when the idea of hunting for owls came to us.  We stopped at nearby Banner Lakes Wildlife Area and relocated the Long-eared Owls I found yesterday.  A Great Horned Owl was also here (owl number 4 for the day!)

We hurried to Barr Lake (Adams) and walked the main road to the owl boxes.  Sure enough, a Barn Owl was in the eastern box!

We then parked up to hill from West Cargo Road and Third Creek and waited until dusk.  A Short-eared Owl (owl number 6) flew along Third Creek, just west of Gun Club Road.

Along the DIA Owl Loop drive, we encountered Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, a Prairie Falcon, American Kestrels, and two Ferruginous Hawks.

Side Note: has anyone noticed Red-tailed Hawks sitting on nests.  In the past five days, I have observed Red-tailed Hawks on nests on three occasions.  One of those times, another Red-tailed Hawk stood next to the lying Hawk.  It seems too early for them to be nesting already?

No comments: