Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MA - Barred Owl in Gill

Slightly milder this morning but still not at all spring like with snow flurries and temperatures well below freezing. I took a slow drive around some of the roads in Gill keeping an eye open for anything that looked slightly odd or out of place. As I drove along North Cross Road, a pale gray 'blob' in the oaks some distance from the road caught my attention. Most gray 'blobs' that I check in our area turn out to be old wasps nests but this one was a Barred Owl and it sat quietly until discovered by a pair of American Crows forced it back into the woodland. 

At the moment, my owl list for Gill is pretty poor at only three species: Barred, Great Horned and Northern Saw-whet. Of these, Barred is by far the most likely to be actually 'seen' whilst Great Horned is generally the most vocal, though lately they've been very quiet and must be incubating. Northern Saw-whet is something of a wild card, easy to find at times, other times completely absent though always entirely nocturnal. I've yet to find a day-time roosting saw-whet in Gill - but I am trying!

 Barred Owl - North Cross Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. March 5th, 2014.
My first distant views from the roadside. 

Slightly closer but still beautifully camouflaged in the leafless branches.

 Dorsal views reminded me of a Red-shouldered Hawk with a strongly banded tail and
 heavily barred upperparts. 

Finally slips away after being harassed by a couple of American Crows.

No comments: