[Tweeters] Fourth of July Obit for a Barn Owl

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Thu Jul 4 20:52:13 PDT 2013

Until last fall there were no reports of a Barn Owl sighting within the Edmonds city limits. It was not on the city checklist. Then last fall, when we updated the checklist in the county checklist format and made it available through Tweeters, we learned of a Barn Owl sighting early one fall morning as two birders were heading for the ferry. The location was Third Avenue and Edmonds Way, a well-lighted site even in the autumn gloom. Edmonds does not have structures that would be inviting to this owl species. We would not expect such a sighting to be repeated.

We were looking forward to adding this code 5 species to our next revision of the checklist. That anticipation is now tarnished a bit by this morning's death of the owl in the underpass for Fifth Avenue. I just rode down there to see the carcass that I heard about earlier today. It appears to have been in an owl-auto collision. There is a curve just as vehicles enter the underpass and most do so going well beyond the maximum posted speed. A vehicle probably came through there too fast as the owl was probably leaving its perch. From the whitewash on the sidewalk, it looks like this enterprising owl found a roosting spot at the top of the concrete walls. Maybe that is where it has been since last fall. It's too bad that Edmonds wasn't a more hospitable home to this beautiful owl.

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, Wa

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