Date: 12/23/18 10:55 pm
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Great Gray Owl breeding territory nearest Portland--Clackamas County

Wasn’t there also a Great Gray near Mulino in the early 2000s that drew quite a crowd after information about it was published in The Oregonian?

Dave Irons

On Dec 23, 2018, at 10:47 PM, Tim Janzen <tjanzen...><mailto:<tjanzen...>> wrote:

Dear Harry,
Thanks for posting this information. Great Gray Owls have been a code 5 bird in Clackamas County previously. I have been aware of only one previous Clackamas County record. A bird was seen by a number of observers in the mid to late 1990s somewhere near Colton. I searched for the bird at the time, but didn’t see it. I don’t seem to have more precise details about that sighting in my records, but it was a winter record as I recall. If someone on OBOL recalls more details about that sighting, I would be interested in having that information for my records for Clackamas County.
Tim Janzen

From: <obol-bounce...><mailto:<obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Harry Fuller
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2018 1:50 PM
To: OBOL; Rogue Valley Birds; Klamath Basin Bird News
Subject: [obol] Great Gray Owl breeding territory nearest Portland--Clackamas County

There is now evidence that Great Gray Owls (hereafter “GGO”] are resident breeders in southeastern Clackamas County. That’s less than 35 miles from Powell’s Book Store in central Portland. The owls breeding there are at the northwestern edge of the GGO breeding range in Oregon as far as we now know. When Peter Thiemann and I published our book, Great Gray Owls of California, Oregon and Washington [2015], we used the best available information to get our breeding range maps drawn. GGOs had been seen occasionally at Silver Falls State Park in Marion County and it formed an isolated island of likely breeding habitat on the Oregon range map. The last CBC record there was in 2013. Now we know that GGOs are currently living and breeding in the low foothills north of Silverton and Silver Falls SP. They are in an area east of Scotts Mills inside Clackamas County. There are four unspecific sightings of GGOs in Clackamas recorded on eBird. EBird does not disclose specific locations for this (and other) sensitive species. Making it more complicated to determine GGO presence in an area is their aloof behavior as opposed to aggressive territoriality…and the fact that there is no central avian database beyond the wonderful but haphazard reality of eBird and its voluntary user-base.
On this year’s Salem Christmas Bird Count I was teamed with two biologists from the Salem office of the BLM. One was Corban Murphy who himself has seen GGOs in Clackamas including a pair of immature birds in early summer. Young GGOs are quite sedentary until their first autumn so these two had to have been born near where they were seen. After that sighting the private forest there was clear cut so the owls surviving would have moved to some suitable forest/meadow complex nearby. Some of the Clackamas sightings have been on private land. In all these GGOs are living and breeding in and around trees farms, elevation 1000-1600 feet in the Cascade foothills.

I have updated range maps, photo and further details on my blog:
(copy and paste link to see maps and entire blog with further links, etc.)
Harry Fuller
author of: San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:
author of Great Gray Owls of CA-OR-WA:
author of Freeway Birding:<>
birding website:<>
my birding blog:<>

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