My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

OWLS!

Published February 10, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Short-eared Owl, Northern Harrier, Horned Larks, American Tree Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk

The town of Medina is known for the short-eared owls that hunt in the fields beyond the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. I've been wanting to get out there for some time now, but my work load has been keeping me house bound. Today, on the spur of the moment, I decided to clear my head, grab a little sunshine, and see if I could find those owls.  They would be life-listers for me, so I was extra anxious.

The drive out was beautiful. I counted 3 Red-tailed Hawks along the way and I stopped to enjoy and photograph a small flock of Horned larks. And this time, I finally got to see their little horns!

I wanted to be early for the owls, so I arrived at the fields around 3 PM. Surprisingly (to me), they were already putting on a show.  I counted 6 Short-eared Owls and 2 Northern Harriers. I didn't think the 2 predators would hunt alongside one another the way they were. They obviously shared the abundant rodents in the fields.

One of the owls, in the fields to the left of my car, perched nicely for me. Another flew by with the prey he caught - a vole, dangling from his talons. Another couple was engaged in a struggle over the ownership of a vole that the hunter was defending in the dimming light. It was an experience to behold. A phenomenon.
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Short-eared Owl
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This owl carries off a vole he caught
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The bottom owl challenges the hunter for its prey
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Northern Harrier
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Northern Harrier
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Female Horned Lark
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I finally got to see the horns! Check out the guy in the snow.
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You can see the horns on this guy too...
Reply from: Lynn on 2/11/2013 7:53 AM
 Great photos! I'm glad you were able to carve out some time in your weekend to enjoy some time with the owls. I can imagine seeing so many together was an amazing experience.
Reply from: Ann on 2/24/2013 8:52 PM
 So nice to see the horned lark and short-eared owl. If you want to see cormorants, go to Toronto harbor...they are there by the thousands and have overtaken the lake. ugh. I love your photos. Keep up the nice running commentary.
Reply from: Sue on 2/25/2013 6:55 AM
 Thanks for the nice comments, Lynn and Ann! And I’ll have to check out the Toronto Harbor, Ann – THOUSANDS of cormorants?! Wow! I’ve heard people say negative things about them before and I couldn’t figure out why; they’re so interesting to me! But I guess anything in great numbers becomes less than interesting or lovable!