Saturday, August 06, 2005

Spotted Owl Survey


Click on photo to enlarge
Please excuse the low quality picture, but I thought it was legible enough to be of interest, and the zombie eyes are caused by my flash of course.

On May 15th Peggy took on a temporary summer job helping out some friends with the 2005 Spotted Owl Survey here in The San Bernardino Mountains, and in The San Jacinto's as well.

I've been a bit envious of her hiking around the woods all night while I was laid up with my sciatic nerve problem.

But, my recovery seems well on the way, and now, I too have been drafted for owl surveying.

I've been out in the field twice assisting Veronica, one of the biologists we work with, and both nights we found a pair of owls.

The first pair, found during an evening walk-in, weren't at all interested in taking our mice and didn't appear to have nesting juveniles.

The female of the second pair we found, on an early morning walk-in this past Thursday, was very interested in the mice, eating three of them in rapid succesion, and then caching a fourth at the base of a California Black Oak.

Above is a very poor quality photo of the female who ate the mice Thursday.

I took this shortly before sunrise, after she was done with the mice and we were preparing to hike out of the canyon.

My little camera is obviously not suitable for this type of low light photography (it was still dark) and I had to manipulate the photo extensively with brightness and contrast adjustments just to make it legible. Posted by Picasa

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2 Comments:

Blogger Kate West said...

How exciting to be out looking for owls! That is something I've always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to it yet. I used to hear them a lot when we lived in the country, but never could spot one outside of our house in the trees. I did see a couple of snowy owls at night when I was driving, though.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Kate-
It really is a cool thing to be involved in, especially when the owls fly down and take mice from you, and being out in the forest at all hours of the night & morn isn't too hard to take either.
:<)

1:01 PM  

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