Date: 2/10/19 10:57 am
From: Tait, Mag <mtait...>
Subject: FW: [birders] "feeding" the birds - barred owls....
From my daughter in response to rats maybe being too large for regular barred owl food.
;o)

From: Leah Tait <leah.tait...>
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:42 PM
To: Tait, Mag <mtait...>
Subject: Re: [birders] "feeding" the birds - bald eagle over our yard (a bit north of Dexter)

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So it’s inconclusive! I am thinking of this photo of a barred owl:

[image1.jpeg]

On Feb 10, 2019, at 4:26 AM, Tait, Mag <mtait...><mailto:<mtait...>> wrote:
Gotta love birders.
Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:
From: "'George Hammond' via Birders" <birders...><mailto:<birders...>>
Date: February 10, 2019 at 12:18:36 AM EST
To: birders <birders...><mailto:<birders...>>
Subject: Re: [birders] "feeding" the birds - bald eagle over our yard (a bit north of Dexter)
Reply-To: George Hammond <worldsmith...><mailto:<worldsmith...>>
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I took a look in Birds of North America:

Barred owls eat all kinds of small animals (even reported to wade in water after crayfish) but mostly things smaller than an adult rat. They do eat lots of small mammals, and take birds as a large as ruffed grouse though…

Great Horned Owls are generalists, and tend to feed most on the prey that is most abundant. Rabbits and large rodents make up most of their diet in most places, so Rattus norvegicus (now generally called brown rats, since they never had anything to do with Norway) would fit well within their prey size range. They’re your best bet for an owl predator of Rattus in North America.

Barn owls mainly eat voles and other mammals that size or smaller. Adult brown rats would be a bit big. Juveniles they could, and do, manage, but the studies cited in BNA found Rattus to be a pretty small part of their diet. This might be a function of study location rather than particular owl preference.

Short-eared owls and long-eared owls have both been reported to take juvenile Rattus, but not often. They mostly eat smaller mammals.

Great gray owls look bigger than great horned owls, but that’s just plumage, they actually weigh a little less, and tend to take smaller prey than GHOs. No mention of them taking Rattus

Spotted owls of the west mostly eat flying squirrels, and in the southern part of their range, native woodrats (Neotoma), which are at least as big as juvenile brown rats, but maybe not as big as adults. No mention of them preying on Rattus. Like great grays, this may be a function of non-overlapping habitat preferences.

cheers,

George




On Feb 9, 2019, at 1:42 PM, Fred Kaluza <fkaluza...><mailto:<fkaluza...>> wrote:

Since Norwsy are not part of our native ecosystems here in the US, does anyone know if they are regularly preyed on? Being mostly night creatures, I’m thinking that owls should be interested but...wouldn’t they be quite a bit larger than normal Owl prey? Even House Cats normally take things smaller than rats. I can see where poisoned rats laying out in the open would attract anything that eats squirrels or musk rats but Norway Rats at night? Maybe Great Horned Owls looking for skunks or house cats? I don’t know.


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On Saturday, February 9, 2019, 13:12, Tait, Mag <mtait...><mailto:<mtait...>> wrote:
Quite a story. Thank you for sharing. My daughter in Seattle has a pair of barred owls that frequent her yard. They also have many rats. She has seriously considered mounting a platform with seeds as an owl feeder, reasoning the rats would feed on it and be prime targets for the owls.
Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 9, 2019, at 12:24 PM, Faye Stoner <faye.stoner...><mailto:<faye.stoner...>> wrote:
Birders,
Sherri Smith has written about feeding mice to the crows in her neighborhood. Our neighborhood crows often visit our compost pile to search for food and in snowy weather, they look for food we put out closer to our house, like skin from salmon we had for dinner.

This year we put out something much more. We had a deer die in our yard this past October, after getting hit by a car we assume. We did get the needed DNR permit, we harvested some meat for ourselves and then I also put parts of the deer in the big freezer to feed to the crows and other critters later in winter.

I put out a deer leg during that deep cold spell we had recently; that was the second leg I had put out. We have had crows come often to the legs, once 5 visiting at one time, We have had two red-tails come several times, and once we had 3 red-tails out there at one time.

Last week we had a bald eagle visit our yard. When we saw the mature eagle, it was flying already and we watched it land in a large tree just north of our property. With my scope I watched it eat what it had carried to the tree. It stayed put for several minutes........ much of the time a red-tail sat several feet above it in the same tree.

What we did not see, but we learned later our neighbors had, was that the bald eagle and a red-tail had had an aerial skirmish. Our neighbor saw the hawk and eagle "fighting" in the air, not many yards away from the deer leg. That must have happened seconds before Ron saw the eagle flying over our yard.

So, we can't say with certainty that the eagle was actually eating something from our "bird feeding" area, since we didn't actually see it at the deer leg, but even without knowing that for sure, the eagle's presence made for an exciting and fun afternoon.

This experience made me wonder how many interesting things we humans might miss seeing at our homes, either because we aren't home or we just aren't looking!

Faye Stoner/Ron Gamble
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