Sunday, February 26, 2012

Short-eared Owl

 After a great hike today at the Turkey Hill Green Belt property, I headed over to the Nelsons Island section of the P.R.N.W.R. I noticed a short-eared working the face of the hill the second I got out of the car. As I headed up onto the hill,  the bird was actively hunting the main field. I got to spend about an hour watching this amazing owl. Short-eared owls are my favorite bird by far. I went out to Montana to photograph them & watch them in numbers at Red Rocks Lake N.W.R, while we saw around 10 + S.E.O's, we never managed to get any good pictures of them.

After my latest B.C.P class, which the main focus was conservation the statistics for S.E.O's are terrible to say the least, with an 80% decrease in their population in North America since 1966. A beautiful bird that will become even more rare as the years go on. SEO's are a species currently listed in Massachusetts as endanged, making moments such as today all the more important to treasure. Places like P.I. and the surrounding marshes are some of the best areas to see these elusive owls if they are about. Marsh & grassland avian species are in critical danger due to loss of habitat and various human impact. It's so weird to see them knowing future generations may not get the same chance.

Aside from the debby downer info.... also caught my first Red Wing Blackbird today, singing at sunset !!!! Other weekend highlights were: 4 Snowy owls, a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Gannet, and 20 Dunlin. Spring is on the way folks.

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