Shawn, thanks for the useful summary, from one of those who'd asked. Your advice was unintentionally validated yesterday afternoon at 3:30.
Kathi was passing the window by our feeders when a very bulky bird flew away. It landed on the other end of the lot near our compost heap, which is full of last summer's kitchen scraps. Both feeders and compost heap are on south-facing slopes among conifers along the lakeshore.
We spied the small owl from another window, perched only about 8 feet above the ground on a 1" deciduous limb, staring diligently at the compost heap. When the bird heard me approach from a better vantage point on the roadside, its head rotated to check me out, providing good views of head and face field marks.
Pretty good yard bird. Haven't seen it since.
Thanks, Shawn, for getting back to us.
Frank & Kathi Berdan, Duluth
--- On Tue, 1/20/09, shawn conrad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: shawn conrad <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [mou-net] Finding Boreal Owls - Pt. II
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 7:06 AM
> After posting my request for advice on finding Boreal Owls,
> I received a few requests to post any useful information I
> received. I only received a handful of replies, but there
> was some consistency (and one attached photo of a handsome
> Boreal Owl that makes me want to go out and find one even
> A couple of people suggested that the best thing to do is
> spend as much time in the lowland conifers (especially if
> vole activitiy is apparent) as possible until one turns up.
> Several suggested watching around bird feeders when snow and
> temperature conditions become difficult. All times of day
> were suggested as best! I have pasted a portion of one
> helpful response I received because it referred to actual
> tree location:
> Boreal Owls tend to like south-facing slopes or exposures
> (like road cutsand forest edges). They often sit and
> apparently sun themselves on theoutside of conifers, often
> in the early afternoon, and usually from abouteye-level up
> to 20 feet (but not usually higher). Some of this may be
> wherethey're easiest to find, rather than where they
> spend most of their time. Iimagine they roost deep in cover
> like Saw-whet Owls much of the time, butit'd be real
> tough to find one doing that.
> I appreciate all the replies I received. Looks like
> it's worth trying a little of all of the above for this
> elusive species!
> Shawn Conrad
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