Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Owls at Seven Trees

We hear two types of owls in our 7 big trees here, or in the neighboring vacinity. One is the Spotted Owl, the other the Great Horned Owl.

I'd never heard a Spotted Owl before living here and the call is really quite different.
CLICK HERE to hear a spotted owl call from www.owling.com

Spotted Owl with baby.

Casting aside the many disparaging remarks about this species by those in favor of logging old growth, old growth is where the Spotted Owl makes it's home. It is a sedentary bird, living in a narrow habitat field, and thus is very vulnerable to humans and the massive/rapid havoc we can wreak on the owls habitat. When there is so little old growth left that there is barely enough left to sustain animals such as these, let alone for humans to experience, then I think we need to take a long hard look at our misplaced values before it is too late to save either trees or owl. Or ourselves for that matter.

The Great Horned Owl is a powerful, nocturnal bird that we often catch glimpses of in our yard light or headlights as the birds travels from one tree to another around Seven Trees.

CLICK HERE to hear a Great Horned Owl call from www.owling.com

This owl does fine in greenbelts to canyons, generally speaking, so is less vulnerable to human encroachment. Great Horned Owls are impressive birds with up to a 4 foot wingspan and can stand 2 feet high. They have been known to predate on the spotted owl, so it's quite interesting that we can hear both in our trees at Seven Trees.


Jannette said...

I am so envious of your owls, there is so little old growth in my area that the barn and western screech owls have adopted to nest in the wilted lower palm pedals. I put an owl box up in my garden 6 weeks ago, hoping for a resident in early spring...

Anonymous said...

Horned owls are so adaptable that they, barn, and screech owls are all found in my suburb.

Spotted owls, of course, are not, despite the proximity of second growth redwoods within a few miles.


Seven Trees said...

What's odd is that the woods across the road are second growth. But they are tribla trust land, next to gravel pits which are next to the Nooksack river and abandoned homesteads. Maybe having a big area with little human disruption, especially at night, and our giant trees for roosting, make it acceptable habitat. The first time I heard the spotted owl, I couldn't figure out what it was. I played all the online clips I could find, and sure enough it was a spotted owl. They've also been seen on the college campus in town.

The great horned owls are really abundant here too. This time of years the males start locking down turf and talking to the women. Once a group of them started hooting in our trees loud enough to wake the corgi & make him bark!

Anonymous said...

In addition WWU has an arboretum in conjunction with the city that surrounds the campus with 180 acres of forest habitat, so we also have deer as well. In fact I had to stop this AM and one crossed the road as I was almost to work. Funny thing is that it even crossed at a crosswalk. More arboretum info here: http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~share/introduction.html
One night about a year ago I was coming into work at 2130 or so for a graveyard shift, and as I crossed the PD parking lot towards the building a good sized Great Horned Owl swooped down from an old growth to my left and skimmed the parking lot at about 8 feet above the ground and no more than 12 feet on front of me. The owl swooped past, then higher over the road, to disappear into the trees across the road to my right. It was like HOWDY!
Hope your owl box brings you a resident!