Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Owl Fever

Eastern Screech Owl, December 4, 2005

Northern Saw-whet Owl - November 12, 2005

Long-eared Owl - near Tanner Spring --October 25, 2005
All photos by BRUCE YOLTON

Above you'll find the three common owls of Central Park. In years past Long-eared Owls often spent their winter in the park, using an evergreen on Cedar Hill as their daytime roost tree. Last year, for the first time in over 5 years, the Long-eared Owls--referred to as LEOs -- didn't come. Or in any event, they weren't discovered. Now the search is on for owls, any owls. The phographer who sent me these thrilling shots seems to have an eye for these nocturnal raptors; many of us missed the Leo and the Saw-whet.

Meanwhile the screech owls are year-round residents. The one pictured above is one of a pair that roosts together in a tree hollow on the park's West side. According to Bruce, last Sunday's fly-out time for the first owl was 4:55 p.m, and 5:07 for the second. [At least half a year ago I promised to tell the story of how screech owls came to be regular residents of Central Park. I'm still planning to do that. Soon...]