Saturday, January 3, 2015

Taft and Sand Road, West Bloomfield • January 2

All of these pictures are of Short-eared Owls. They are listed as endangered in New York State, though their numbers in the United States overall are classified as “stable” and not a concern. (For instance, their numbers are increasing in the Dakotas.) This is an owl of the grasslands and farmlands. As more and more former New York State farms are reverting back to their original forest habitats, the available fields for Short-ear Owls to hunt are going away. (Of course, this is good news for forest dwelling birds!) These pictures were taken on a cloudy day during the last hour before sunset with the owls just waking up from their daytime slumber and beginning their hunt for “breakfast”. Field mouse and meadow vole are typically on the menu (see below).