On December 19, 2011, a group of Earthroots mentors noticed an owl kill site with evidence of two owls. There were feathers from an owl not often seen in our region, the Long Eared Owl. Nearby, a pellet from a Great Horned Owl was found. One of the Long Eared Owl’s talon was found inside a Great Horned Owl pellet.
This story excites birders.
Evan recently shared this story with Stephen Shunk (Author, Peterson’s Guide to Woodpeckers) and Gillian Martin (Southern California Bluebird Club) who were on a tour of Big Oak Canyon with focused interest on cavities as bird habitat. Cavities are holes in dead standing trees, also known as snags or wildlife trees. Big Oak has many wildlife trees with cavities in use by birds, reptiles, mammals and insects.
One gift that came out of our walk was learning the importance of cavities as habitat. The second gift was making progress on Big Oak Canyon’s Bird List. Third gift was their suggestion to have volunteer birders come once a month to contribute to our bird list by having regular Bird Counts. This documentation will be used to help Earthroots monitor the birds and their important habitat at Big Oak Canyon. There were many other gifts!
This is what Stephen heard or saw during our walk October 14, 2012.
And from the photos, we can now add:
Long Eared Owl
Great Horned Owl
Previously recorded birds include:
Red Shoulder Hawk
Red Tail Hawk
Western Screech Owl
Interested birders are welcome to sign up for a monthly bird count starting Spring 2013!