[Tweeters] WOS-Owls by Night Field trip results

J. Acker owler at sounddsl.com
Sun Jan 20 10:37:32 PST 2013

I met seven hardy owlers at my saw-whet banding station on the south end of
Bainbridge Island after they had come over on the last ferry of the night,
the 0210.

While there wasn't a saw-whet in the nets to examine, we did hear
vocalizations that encouraged us to stay for another net check.
Unfortunately, the bird we heard opted to move on, and so did we.

Our first stop, in an attempt to bring in a saw-whet, produced a Barred Owl
that flew in silently, looking for an easy meal. The group was able to
study this bird for a while before we moved on. Our next stop produced a
vocal saw-whet that moved around considerably, before attracting a male that
started tooting in serious competition with me. Eventually, we were able to
locate this bird in dense cedar and get a good visual before it took refuge
further back in the cedar stand.

I then opted to move the group to the north end of the Island where I had
hoped to find a Barn Owl. Failing in that, we were blanked at most stops on
the north end, though the group was entertained by one of my banded Barred
Owls that is now 13 years old. At another stop on the north end, we heard a
Barred Owl calling in the distance.

Returning to the south end, we stopped at the back side of Islandwood and
had a very responsive Northern Saw-whet Owl call from overhead, and then
chirp again. While searching for the owl, I heard the sound of bird spat
(yes, really). Turning around and looking up, we found a very cooperative
Northern Saw-whet Owl that gave a lengthy viewing and photo op for the

The next stop produced a pair of very cooperative Barred Owls that sat side
by side for a minute.

As dawn was approaching, we sprinted to the last stop in hopes of hearing a
pair of Great Horned Owls. When we got to the location, it was very quiet,
but eventually the female Great Horned Owl called from a distance several
times. Suddenly, a Great Horned Owl flew overhead, from behind us, to where
the female had been calling from. The duet that I had hoped for didn't
happen, and we ended the outing then.

All told, 4 (at least) Northern Saw-whet Owls, 5 Barred Owls, and 2 Great
Horned Owls, with great looks at saw-whet and barred owl.

A wonderful morning out with a great group of owlers.

J. Acker

owler at sounddsl.com

Bainbridge Island, WA

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