Date: 2/11/18 7:16 am
From: Larry Scacchetti <larrybird4134...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] A very knOWLedgeable Saturday
After showing my girlfriend her first Snowy Owl, her first owl period, back in November, I had planned on showing her Long-eared Owls this weekend. She was excited. Then I decided to try something I’ve been talking about for years. An owl big day. All 8 species of regularly occurring owls in NJ in 24 hours. She agreed and I started planning. This morning we set out at 4:30 and started in Central NJ within the first 3 hours we had seen Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl and heard Great Horned Owl. She was thrilled to see more owls and I was pumped to get a great start.

Next stop was a Snowy Owl. It was very problematic because I had 5 spots picked out and the wrong choice could really ruin the mission. I chose Ocean County and got there and we walked to the beach and there was a gorgeous Snowy Owl perched on the fence. A few photos and it was time to head back up north.

First stop was Barn Owl, check. Next was Great Horned Owl because I still wanted her to see one, check. By then the rain started to really come down and my Screech Owl was not cooperating at all. We waited and checked the weather, Great Swamp had an hour of 50% chance rain and we headed over. A short walk yielded 2 calling Barred Owls. Afterwards, the rain started up again. So it was time to drive out and head home. After all that effort, 7 species of owls, and still no Screech Owl. We stopped at the Bluebird lot and gave a listen. About 5 minutes go by and an Eastern Screech Owl called right next to the car for about 10 minutes and then stopped. Suddenly another Barred Owl called and there you go.

All 8 species! 13 hours of owling, 7 hours of driving, one personal goal accomplished! Unreal day. Lots of luck, scouting and help from a few friends.

Some highlight photos can be seen here :

Larry Scacchetti
Montvale, NJ

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