Flammulated Owls, Part 2

(Be sure to see Part 1, posted last week.)

flammulated-owl_manitouexperimentalforest-co_lah_1868-001I was still smiling happily at the thought of having finally seen a Flammulated Owl—a new life bird for several of us that evening. Because the females spend every hour of daylight inside the nest with their young, you can only see them at night—flying around catching moths in the dark. Meanwhile, the males spend their days in a tall pine growing on top of a (usually inaccessible) ridge, roosting right up against the trunk on a high branch. As they sit motionless for hour after hour, they are nearly impossible to spot; their feathers are a perfect match for the reddish-brown Ponderosa bark.

If Brian hadn’t graciously allowed us to accompany him, it’s unlikely I ever would have checked this species off my life list.

Continue reading “Flammulated Owls, Part 2”

Flammulated Owls, Part 1

life-list-11I’ve mentioned in the past how bad I am at spotting owls. (That might have something to do with my typical 8:30 pm bedtime.) Well, a couple of weeks ago a birding friend called, asking if I wanted to join her and some others for an evening with Colorado College researcher Brian Linkhart, who has been studying Flammulated Owls for the past 30 years. We’d be traipsing through the Manitou Experimental Forest (west of Colorado Springs) in the dark, accompanying Brian and his student researchers as they netted and banded the tiny owls.

Of course I said yes!

Continue reading “Flammulated Owls, Part 1”