Date: 9/9/17 5:40 pm
From: Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Re: Western Screech-Owl, perhaps - and why playing recordings might be risky
I would also agree with Jim about not playing Screech Owl recordings in
Lincoln Park to get them to respond, and to confirm their presence there.

I have been leading Owling walks in Lincoln Park for 17 years and while I
only do my own imitations (no recordings) of Barred Owl and Great Horned
Owl vocalizations, the reason I wouldn't allow anyone to play Screech Owl
recordings on my walks (and don't even try my best imitations of them
there) is that I am concerned that both a Screech Owl and a Barred Owl will
both come to the recording to find the Screech Owl it thinks it is
hearing. Then the Barred Owl will then find the Screech Owl that came to
the same place, and eat it, as one ate a Screech Owl there 14 or 15 years
ago, that a friend photographed being eaten.

In a similar vein, of attracting aggressors when intending only to attract
owls that respond to my hoots, I have had crows respond to my imitation
Barred Owl hoots then find a silent Barred Owl near me, that presumably
also came to my hoots, but silently, then the crows loudly harassed the
owl, showing me where the Barred Owl was.

And Jim, you may not have heard more Screech Owls over the last 15 years if
you were closer to Lincoln Park, because there has been little evidence of
them there since shortly after the Barred Owls apparently became
established there around 15 years ago. The Screech Owls have been heard
and seen since then in smaller wooded patches, including Orchard St Ravine,
not far from you, east of Lincoln Park, and Pelley Place Ravine, just north
of Lincoln Park. I had theorized that the Screech Owls had largely
retreated to (or just still survived in) smaller contiguous patches of
wooded or shrubby areas, while the Barred Owls favored the larger
contiguous patches of forest. As I periodically go through the
neighborhood around Pelley Place Ravine to check with any of the neighbors
outside, asking if they had recently heard or seen the Screech Owls, that
they periodically report having seen or heard, I have now found that they
also report hearing Barred Owls there, so those Screech Owls may not be so
safe from the Barred Owls just by being in a smaller contiguous patch of
forest. And while I can't quite remember the Screech Owls there before the
Barred Owls, I'm pretty sure that Screech Owls were regularly observed at
Camp Long (also in West Seattle) before the Barred Owls became established
there, I suspect about 17 years ago.

206 932-7225 <(206)%20932-7225> (currently only land)

> Subject: [Tweeters] Re: Western Screech-Owl, perhaps
> Hi Jeff and all owl-loving Tweets,
> May I respectfully suggest that you don't go out and play a recording to
> the Screech Owls at Lincoln Park? They seem to be having a tough time
> surviving in the Puget Sound region and Barred Owl predation and/or
> competition is at least suspected to be among the causes.
> It would be nice, though not crucial, to confirm their presence, but I
> suspect we will know that when they choose to call of their own accord. I
> live a mile uphill from Lincoln Park and have heard them sporadically
> (every few years) over the last eleven years. This, despite our house being
> in a strictly residential area (not close to a greenbelt). I'm sure we
> would hear them more often if we were near one of the parks.
> Thanks,
> Jim Flynn
> Seattle, WA

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