On the evening of Saturday March 1st, eleven of us divided into two teams and set off into the dark forest to learn what our annual owl monitoring would tell us. Hopes were raised by our having heard up to seven individual owls in three species during monitoring in past years. Following each of two routes, covering the full breadth of the forest, we stopped roughly eight times and called for owls in a progression of species, from smallest to largest. Saw whet, Northern pygmy, Western Screech, Spotted, Barred, and Great horned.
And what called back?
We were disappointed that only one owl responded – and it was the unwanted, new arrival – the barred owl. This result led to long discussion of what conclusions we might draw. Regardless, we all enjoyed the quiet walk through the dark, sleeping forest and look forward to what we might learn next March. Thanks to all for their important involvement and help.