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Michelle Summers

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Posts posted by Michelle Summers

  1. Was it a rare sighting?  Though I think it's a lovely photo, I don't understand the purpose of posting on eBird, being that it isn't clear enough to be definitive on species.  I'm just curious why you wanted to post it on eBird.

  2. On 3/27/2021 at 11:54 AM, ruthcatrin said:

    I'm so jealous!  My husband I have been discussing putting up a box, we hear them ALOT by us.  But I'm not sure I have an appropriate tree in a spot where I could watch it easily.  I plan to spend this summer paying extra attention to trees and locations and what not with an eye towards putting up a box in the fall.

    It's not terribly complicated, especially if you hear them a lot.  It just needs to be 15ft or higher, on a tree at least 1ft in diameter, facing north, and within 100ft of water.  I think that's about it, besides the specs for the box itself.  Mine isn't visible from the house, but the female is pretty tolerant of me being around, as long as I stay about 30ft away from wherever she is.  First year she nested in my box, I walked by frequently, partly to get her used to my presence, and partly to look for other birds.   It's worth knowing where they are, and seeing the babies start peeking out, when they get big enough.  Also, they stay in the trees very near the nest, after they fledge, for 3 to 4 weeks, so you would get a chance to observe all of that behavior.

     

  3. 5 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    Are you submitting these 'day lists' as Incidentals?  

    Thanks!

    No, because I'm quite literally outside almost all day, watching and listening for who is present, as I go about my work, taking breaks to sit and observe behavior and less vocal birds in my feeding/water feature area.

     

    I use incidental for times like I'm driving down the highway, spot a bird that I need for a county, stop and document, where I don't take the time to discern all of the birds in the area.

    • Like 1
  4. I bird at home most of the time, and my lists are for a day in almost all instances.  I think time of year is more important, for presence of a bird, than time of day, so if I see a hummingbird by the house on my way out to the garden, or see an owl while I'm checking the mail, they go on my day list.  It doesn't seem necessary to put multiple lists in for the same location, on the same day.  The birds are present, if you saw them at the feeder, before you technically start birding.  Again, my situation may be different than most, because I spend most days around my house, garden, woods, feeding area, etc...  

  5. This is the 4th season I've had a Barred Owl nest box up, and I finally put a camera in it, so I would have a chance to observe the babies for the first month of life.  The female came to the box, and acted like she was preparing to nest, and then disappeared.  I was afraid the camera had scared her away, until I read that Barred Owl females take every 3rd year off, to give their body a rest.  This explained why I saw her in the box the first year, but then didn't see any more activity.  The last 2 years, she has raised 2 Hootlets each year 🥰  Here is a picture memory, of one of her 2019 Hootlets...

    Hootlet05192020.jpg

    • Like 10
  6. On 8/2/2020 at 10:50 AM, tclarkwood said:

    I need some help to figure out how to see these birds. I hear them behind my house just before dark but when I go into the woods to see them they are like ghosts. Does anyone have any tips on how I can see them? Should I carry a high powered flashlight into the woods with me? Will that be a bad idea? Thanks for the suggestions. 

    I had the exact same problem.  I have a wet weather creek behind my house and lots of large trees.  I heard the owls all the time, but I have a hard time seeing them, still.  Since I heard them frequently, and the habitat was right for them nesting, so I built and put up a nest box.  I figured that would give me better odds of getting to see them, and it worked. 

    The first year (4 years ago), I saw the female in the box, but then didn't see any more activity.  The last two years, she has nested and raised two owlets.  This year, she came to the box a few times, and appeared to be preparing to nest, but then stopped coming. I thought it might have been because I put a camera in the box this year, and was so SAD, until I read that the female takes every 3rd year off, to give her body a break.  This would explain why she didn't nest in it the first year.  

    These owls mate for life and only leave their relatively small territory if food becomes scarce, so when you play the calls, they need to defend their territory.  Please be sure to never do that between Feb and Aug, during breeding season.  They are predated on by Great Horned Owls, which a lot of people don't realize. 

    Here is a link to where I got the plans and instructions for hanging the box... 
    https://www.owlpages.com/download/Nest_Box_Plans_for_Barred_Owls_by_Michael_Cantwell.pdf

    Here are a couple of pics of Hootie, Heloise and some Hootlets from 2019 and 2020.

    HootieAndHeloise05082019.jpg

    Hootlets05242019.jpg

    Heloise04282020.jpg

    • Like 9
  7. 1 hour ago, Kevin said:

    I didn't know you were one this forum! Any way here's a two year late welcome.

    Hey, Kevin 🙂  I start my birding journey on this forum, but fell away.  I was feeling nostalgic, yesterday, and came to visit. This was always such a friendly and helpful environment ❤️  Glad to see you here!  There are lots of young birders here.  I didn't realize you were the one who started this thread LOL 🙂 

  8. Impossible to choose, but this is my favorite bird on the planet (not just species, but individual bird), and this is one of my favorite shots of her. Her name is Heloise, and she is a Barred Owl. She and Hootie have used the nest box I built for them, the last 3 years, producing 2 healthly hootlets each year. She is getting ready to start laying her eggs this year, and I finally got a camera inside the nest box this year, and am super excited about it!  This picture was taken 7/6/2020, behind my house.

    Heloise07062020.jpg

    • Like 16
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