Feb 20, 2017 | Featured Web Article

Winter Owls

Eastern screech owls, red morph (right) and gray morph (left).
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Many owls begin nesting in late winter. Now is the ideal time to listen for them calling at night if you have an older pine stand or deciduous woods nearby. Owls will call all night, but the first hour of dark and the last hour before sunrise are the best times to listen.

Great horned owls prefer larger, older woods near field edges where they can use their perch-and-drop style of hunting to catch rabbits and other mammals. They often call just at dusk and dawn.

Barred owls prefer older woods with an open understory and wet woods, especially along rivers and streams and in swamps. They will call any time during the night and quite often on cloudy afternoons.

Eastern and western screech-owls are opportunistic and adaptable, sometimes nesting in suburban neighborhoods and even cities. Generally quiet between March and June, they will readily answer imitations of their calls.



About Bill Thompson, III

Bill Thompson, III, was the team captain for Watching Backyard Birds from its inception 23 years ago through his death on March 25, 2019. So much of what he wrote is timeless and remains informative, helpful, and inspiring.

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    by Heather Cole, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • You have to put food in it.
    by Truckee Man, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
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    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020