Friday, February 25, 2011

February 24-25, 2011 Birding Amherst Island

The number of hawks and owls on Amherst island continue to drop compared to January. On Feb. 24th and 25th Ben and I covered most of the regular spots on the island and found only a few raptors. Yesterday, we arrived on Amherst late afternoon and managed to find 1 Snowy Owl and 7 Short-eared Owl on the KFN property at the east end. The heavily barred Snowy Owl was perched on a distant Osprey nesting platform and flew a couple of times in persuit of prey. The Short-eared owls were very active calling and hunting over the open field. One was successful in catching a meadow vole. We also had 2 Great horned Owls hooting up a storm near the west end of the island.
enroute from Kingston to Amherst Ben spotted a Barred Owl along Hwy. 33 just north of Taylor-Kidd Road. On the island we covered the "Owl Woods" and found no small owls and only one very tame Long-eared Owl roosting. We spent a couple of hours driving around the island but only found one Red-tailed Hawk.

Long-eared Owls can easily blend into the background of a tree.

I detected this individual by the movement of its head as it was looking around.

The Long-eared Owl turned out to be very tame and just sat quietly..

A quiet day in the woods for everyone.

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