[Tweeters] Short-eared Owls?

Paul Bannick paul.bannick at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 08:46:32 PDT 2022

Hi Jim,

It is all about the voles. Short-eared Owls are nomadic and show up where
voles are plentiful. More Short-eared Owls is a sure sign that vole
populations are especially high. The heavy flooding in Northwest
Washington likely took a toll on vole populations and the owls moved to
where they were more plentiful. Cold weather has not negative impact upon
Short-eared Owls as they are adapted to the cold weather of the Arctic and
winters in the intermountain areas of North America. Deep cold without
snow can be problematic for voles though. Snow can insulate them and their
runs, but a deep cold (which we did not have) can have a more negative


On Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 7:41 AM <jimbetz at jimbetz.com> wrote:

> Hi,


> Last year, particularly in Jan and Feb but well into May - we were

> seeing

> Short-Eared Owls on the Samish Flats and Fir Island. This year has been

> VERY few. Does anyone know:


> 1) Why they aren't here this year?

> 2) Where they ARE this year?


> I will speculate on #1 by noting that we had a very long cold spell

> this year and it may have affected the vole/rodent population. ???


> I tried to use e-Bird to answer #2 and failed. I can get it to focus

> on Skagit County -or- on Short-eared Owls ... but not both ... in order

> to find "last seen". What am I doing wrong?

> - Jim in Burlington


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