Date: 12/2/19 5:55 am From: Rita Goranson <ritag...> Subject: RE: [ia-bird] Re: (not a sighting) Nothern Saw-whet Owl habitat
We have several areas of Cedar trees here that we are usually able to find Saw Whets in, but last year and this year we have yet to find a Saw Whet. It does seem that when areas of Cedars become overgrown that the owls move to smaller trees, but they also like sheltered coves.
Rita Goranson, Mason City
From: <ia-bird...> [mailto:<ia-bird...>] On Behalf Of Fawn Bowden
Sent: Sunday, December 1, 2019 10:39 PM
To: IA-BIRD <ia-bird...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Re: (not a sighting) Nothern Saw-whet Owl habitat
When I've seen Saw Whets, they've always been in Cedars that were ~10'-15' in height and not much, if any vegetation growing in or around the tree it was roosting in. That has just been my limited experience though. Certainly larger owls might take a little NSWO as prey, but I have also seen all the species you mentioned living in the same wooded areas, so maybe it's more about the "right" trees and abundance of food(?) in an area.
Fawn in Riverside
On Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 4:42:06 PM UTC-6, jgmccoy350 wrote:
I surveyed the cedar grove in Hickory Hill park in Iowa City where NSWO were fairly routinely seen several years ago. No birds or whitewash seen. The last e-bird report of a NSWO at the park was in December 2017. The cedars seem more mature now, mostly 20-30 feet. The invasive honeysuckle is thicker and taller. I also saw two Great Horned owls in the grove today and a Barred Owl during a similar fruitless survey a couple of weeks ago. So is it just happenstance there have been no NSWOs there the last couple of years? Is it the habitat change with larger cedars and taller more impenetrable brush? The big owls? Would clearing the invasive Honeysuckle improve the habitat?
I’d be interested to hear what is considered ideal winter habitat for Northern Saw-whet Owls.