Today I went out on a spotted owl survey with one of my supervisors. We went to two sites which were mostly doug fir and redwoods, and were absolutely gorgeous. At the first site we hiked (nearly vertically) up a hillside to an area where owls had nested years previous. First we spent some time searching for any signs of owls: pellets, white washed trees (pooped on), good nesting platforms, corvids making a racket, etc. After a while of finding nothing Renee switched over to making owl calls, with hopes that they would respond and we could track them down. Unfortunately there was no response and we had to move on to the next sight. Again, we searched around for any signs of them, but to no avail. This time, however, almost immediately after Renee called we got responses from both the male and female. The male was very close and called one more time and we were easily able to find him. The female was farther off, but after a bit of searching and a couple of more calls Renee found the female sitting on the nest, with only a tail sticking out. I could not have imagined spotting it myself, but there it was! It was really great to see how the surveys were done and to actually find some owls. Fun times.
Ross's Gull, Avian Heroin
4 days ago