Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl

This Long-eared Owl was found by Tyler Pockette in our area recently, after he recognized some promising habitat. An evergreen thicket with thick under-story for concealment while roosting, adjacent to open meadows for hunting. After getting permission, he visited the site at night and was able to get this amazing photograph. No playback of audio was used to attract this bird. Because this owl was found on private property and we are inside the window for nesting, we are keeping the location of this bird secret.

This may come as a disappointment to birders, because of all the owls known to inhabit Vermont, Long-eared Owls are the most elusive. In Addison County they were found in the 2003-2007 Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas survey, they are regularly found at a known roost in the Mt. Abe Christmas Bird Count circle (also on private property), and they have been banded by Rodney Olsen’s Diversified Occupations class on Snake Mountain during fall migration. But their secretive nature, relatively quiet calling, and dense, often inaccessible habitat could leave them permanently unchecked on even the most avid birder’s life list.

– Ron Payne

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