Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Long-eared Owl

I took my family to an undisclosed location today on a quest to see my first ever Long-eared Owl.  We knew the approximate location, but overshot it and spent an hour looking in the right habitat, but the wrong place.  While thoroughly searching in the wrong place, I was still delighted to discover a Red-tailed Hawk nest and even a Mourning Dove nesting on an old Magpie nest.

After a phone call to a great birding friend, we got the courage to go back and look a little harder at the places we had already been.  I spied the Long-eared Owl on a nest.  I got my family and with stern warnings to be very quiet and to walk slowly we all peeked from behind a tall sage brush down the ravine at the Long-eared Owl.  I took the photo below through my binoculars and then zoomed and cropped it.  Look at her all nestled into that huge nest.  My father-in-law, Lynn Davenport, calls her a rabbit on a nest.  My three year old  also believes it is a bunny.

Momma Long-ear was certainly aware of us, but we kept a very respectable distance so that she wouldn't get too nervous and flush.  I am proud of my normally wound-up kids for their reverence in her presence.  She is my life bird #320 and she means a whole lot more to me than just a tick in eBird.


  1. Congrats on #320. It is always nice to view another life bird.

  2. Pretty cool - looks like it's using an old Red-tail nest. They are also known to use old magpie nests.

  3. Robert, how wonderful! I do not have this species on my eBird list though I have seen them, but only once when I lived in CO. I just need to pin it down to a date and year! You are a good papa and birder! I can't believe you got this shot through bins!