Date: 11/22/19 10:02 pm From: Rick Vetter <cotingas...> Subject: [obol] BARRED OWL, Friday November 22; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Medium large brown owl with jet black shiny eyes, brown/buffy/dull white streaked chest and yellow bill. No ear tufts. Perched on steel fence post 50 feet from Center Patrol road on east side of road over looking a cut hay field, about 1 mile north of Knox pond and Five mile Rd.
From a distance we thought it was the usual short-eared owl at sundown hunting the fields, but once we got closer we realized it was a Barred Owl! What a surprise! Competing with coyotes, hunting voles in the field. It may be roosting in willows on river side of road.
To the best of my knowledge it is 3rd record for MNWR ( the other two records March 1996 and October 2000 were at headquarters in trees about 20 mi north of here) and about the 5th for the county. What a nice way to end a full day of birding from Burns to Frenchglen with about 60 species on a cool winter blue sky day.
Also 3 great horned owls and one plucked barn owl in the area. Great horned owls are the King/Queen nocturnal predator here.
Observed by Rick Vetter, Joan Suther and Ralph and Sheri Foote
Sent from my iPhone
Rick Vetter <cotingas...>
“Even the worst handwritten notes are better than the best memory or technology”
Sergej Postupalsky, eagle researcher