Date: 10/28/19 5:57 am
From: larspernorgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] Aquatic Strix
The Barred Owls that get shot as part of the Spotted Owl recovery plan are all frozen and then fully processed(a host of biological data harvested). Some readers can surely recall Ryan Baumbusch skinning one at the Willamette Valley Bird Symposium to assess fat reserves. In this years' bird banding class l met someone who spends her days looking for parasites in the same specimens. I'm wondering now if she gets the same shot of adrenaline when encountering a round worm in the entrails that mushroom pickers experience when the target species at last reveals itself in the moss? All parasites get send along to a retired specialist in Minnesota who identifies them in his basement lab at home.      I have encountered multiple roadkilled BAOWs in recent years. The species is a supreme opportunist. We know they eat frogs.  Many owls on other continents eat fish. Some are even officially called "Fish Owls"(preceded with predictable descriptor,  in at least one case the name of a dead white man). So l strongly suspect BAOWs are fishing, pursuing salamanders,  maybe mole crabs? Raptors are often colliding with things in their efforts at sustenance.  BAOWs that hit the water are sometimes too far from shore to make it to wading depth . I've read various accounts of other raptors that miscalculate and find themselves floating, then thrash their way to shallow water. Lost dignity is a small price to pay for life retained.       On purely economic grounds, l can't imagine any professional biologist simply tossing a fresh dead owl of any species into a stream. I'm pretty sure Mike Patterson posted photos of a BAOW he found washed up on Clatsop Beach. It could have been half a decade ago. It seems that many species of marine birds wash up on our beaches with lower frequency than Strix varia. What we don't know exceeds what we do know by a very wide margin. LpnSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
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