LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for MOU-RBA Archives


MOU-RBA Archives

MOU-RBA Archives


MOU-RBA@LISTS.UMN.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MOU-RBA Home

MOU-RBA Home

MOU-RBA  April 2014

MOU-RBA April 2014

Subject:

[mou-net] Great Gray Owl in the "yard"...A family affair

From:

sparky stensaas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

sparky stensaas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 9 Apr 2014 07:34:51 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (27 lines)

It is always a banner day when a Great Gray Owl visits your home. Late yesterday afternoon, my neighbor bicycled down our long and slush-filled driveway to tell us a "big owl" was in an old birch snag on the edge of our property. I assumed it was a Great Horned but "No" our neighbor said, "It's a Great Gray!"

I frantically found my camera, a tripod, and my rubber boots, and quickly and as quietly hurried down the driveway (as quietly as one can move through ice-skimmed slush!). The Phantom of the North was still there, silently scanning the old hayfield from our snag. He/she paid us no attention, only gave us a brief and casual glance over the shoulder. I waited, wanting to get video of a plunge. Then, as usual, the Great Gray jumped off his perch when I wasn't ready (How dare him!) and floated down, plunging into the two-foot deep soggy snow. No vole this time. But then he suddenly he flew right at me, my neighbor and his son. We froze in awe as this giant among birds glided silently and barely ten feet over our heads.

This was too good not to share. I ran back to the house and got my wife and two boys (3 and 5). The boys already had their pajamas on so we carried them to the car, plopping them in our laps. We drove out to the end of the driveway and now the owl was on the telephone pole right above our mailbox. Perfect viewing for the four of us in our "car blind." We got to watch him make two more forays over the field. The boys thought it was very cool, but got fidgety fast. I hope they see many more in their lifetime.

We live on five wooded acres in Carlton County near Jay Cooke State Park, and this was NOT a new yard bird. The last time I had a Great Gray in my "yard" was during the Great Irruption of 2005. That time, I had walked the hundred yards to my cabin deep in the big White Pines, and there on my deck, perched on the handle of my splitting maul was a Great Gray. My feeders were nearby and she was likely hunting voles that fed on the spilled sunflower seeds.

The odd thing about this sighting is the time of year, and location. It is April, a time when Great Grays should be breeding. And there is not a bog around here for miles and miles. Is this a bird heading to breeding grounds from wintering farther north? (The ginormous Black Lake Bog that straddles Wisconsin and Minnesota's Pine County is about 20 miles south...or the Fond du Lac State Forest bog which is about 20 miles west). I am a bird guide, traveling to the Sax-Zim Bog many times each winter, and this year we assumed all the Great Grays seen this winter were residents who had bred in the bogs they stuck very close to. No owls were seen hunting very far from the protection of the dense spruces and tamaracks.

An interesting side note...I saw a lone Great Gray less than 2 miles from here last April too.

Sparky Stensaas 
2515 Garthus Road 
Wrenshall, MN 55797 
218.341.3350 cell 
[log in to unmask]

www.ThePhotoNaturalist.com
www.SaxZim.org
www.KollathStensaas.com
 
 		 	   		  
----
Join or Leave mou-net: http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mou-net
Archives: http://lists.umn.edu/archives/mou-net.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.UMN.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager