Owls in February

In recent days, we have been the ever-so-lucky recipients of an “arctic blast”, exceptionally cold air pulled down by the jetstream from more northern climes. The wind chill has been much worse than the actual temperature; it was supposed to be -31 a couple of nights ago. I personally did not confirm this, preferring to stay inside and watch another episode of “Bones”.

By William H. Majoros via Wikimedia Commons
By William H. Majoros via Wikimedia Commons

On the upside, in spite of the cold weather, nature presses on. Believe it or not, now is this time (in New England, anyway) when great horned owls should be nesting, skunks mating, and redpolls arriving from their southern homes. If the weather warms up tonight (which is predicted), I might go out walking through the snow, listening for great horned owls. This is what I will be listening for:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/sounds

Of course, great horned owls aren’t the only owls you might hear at night. Cornell’s Ornithology Lab offers a download of a variety of owl calls that you might encounter.

http://dl.allaboutbirds.org/owlsounddownload?utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fcams.allaboutbirds.org%2Fchannel%2F46%2FGreat_Horned_Owls%2F

And, for the real bird dorks among us (like me), here’s their livecam of a great horned owl’s nest in Savannah, Georgia. This is what we in New England have to look forward to in the upcoming months!

The nest, originally built by a pair of bald eagles, now contains the female and two baby owlets, hatched in early February. For video highlights dating back to mid-December, see here: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/46/Great_Horned_Owls/

Happy owling!

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