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.
-Stewart www.stewardshipadventures.com 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