Friday, January 13, 2006

Lost and Found and Lost

photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

Website correspondent Margie Siegal writes:

Has anyone seen the Grey Screech lately? If not, I guess the pessimists were right. Too bad.

Here's the scoop, Margie:

Day before yesterday [1/11/06] a member of the Feeder-filling Squad reported that he'd seen the grey screech owl in its usual "Riviera" hole earlier that day. General rejoicing. But at fly-out time that evening, as well as the next evening, no owl was seen coming out of that hole. A number of observers came to the Riviera site early last night and waited for quite a long time to be sure that an owl wasn't missed. They left unfulfilled.

So, my own thought is that the Wednesday reporter who saw grey showing at the hole's entrance was actually seeing squirrel fur. The gray-phase Eastern Screech-owl and the Eastern Gray Squirrel are almost identical in color.

There's still no reason to be sure that the Riviera owl hasn't simply moved to another, yet undiscovered hole.

Meanwhile, here's Jack Meyer's report, sent earlier today:

Red Screech in its hole. Two squirrels playing tag in & out of Gray Screech hole.

PS Great Horned Owl Fly-out yesterday was at 5:08 pm. The owl flew due south to a tree at The Point, where it perched, quite motionless, for about ten minutes. Then to the northwest, where it was seen again on the east side of the Lake with the almost-full moon shining over its shoulders.