Thursday, November 9, 2017

Owling In the Foothills of Douglas County

November 8, 2017

Richard Stevens:

Jacob Washburn and I decided to do some owling in Douglas County.  Temperatures reached 62 degrees today.  Winds were 5-6 mph with a few gusts to 16 mph in the afternoon.  However, winds died down after sunset.

We stopped at Dekoevand Park (Arapahoe) on our trip to the foothills.  The area along the Highline canal from University Blvd south then west to the Dekoevand Park footbridge was searched for the Fox Sparrow.

It was reported "under feeders" and we scoped the backyards for feeders and the sparrow.  Few birds moved about and we turned around at the footbridge.  On the trip back, the Fox Sparrow was observed hopping in the brush along the fence line on the western side of the canal.  No feeders were in the yard at this point.  The sparrow must move between several yards north of the southwest corner of the Park.

Later, we hiked around the Rampart Range Road and Highway 67 intersection.  A male American Three-toed Woodpecker was observed along Hwy 67 at 40 yards south of the Intersection!  A search for additional Three-toed Woodpeckers was not successful.

After dark I set up our two "owl listening stations".  In the next three hours, two Northern Saw-whet Owls were observed along Rampart Range Road. 

As I mentioned in previous posts, Northern Saw-whet Owls seldom make any noise this time of year.  Our "owl listening stations" were set up about 0.2 miles apart.  We would walk between them and hit the surrounding forest with spotlights.  Each station was eventually visited by at least one Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Later we walked about a half mile down Highway 67.  A Northern Pygmy-Owl responded to our recordings!

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