Saturday, November 24, 2007

The search is on

Photo by Bruce Yolton -11/17/07

On two evenings in a row the Central Park Owl Prowlers checked out the tree where Bruce photographed the screech-owl pictured above. No luck. But we think we know why the owl abandoned the cozy roost hole where Bruce first found him a week ago. When we arrived at the tree on Tuesday, November 19 there were several piles of branches and limbs stacked up near the tree's base. There were signs of freshly-cut branches and limbs on the tree itself. Obviously the tree had been recently pruned. Conclusion: the noise and vibrations of the power saws used for pruning must have spooked the owl and inspired it to seek refuge elsewhere.

Without knowing the exact location of a roost hole it's very hard to find an owl. Tomorrow we're going pellet- and whitewash-hunting in the Ramble. If we find a tree with these signs at its base, odds are there's an owl roosting up there somewhere. In that case we'll be back at nightfall in hope of seeing it fly out for the night.

We KNOW there's at least one owl in the Ramble area. Bruce saw it, after all, and others have heard it singing its haunting trill after dark. We're determined to find it!