Owls have always been one of my favorite groups of birds. Some like Great Horned and Barred can be found pretty easily in my area but I really enjoy searching for the more secretive owls. I recently heard about some Long-eared Owls that are spending the winter in a park about an hour from my house and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go look for them. Since it’s easy to disturb the owls, many people keep their sightings private and only tell people that they think will keep a respectable distance and not cause the owls to flush off their roosting site. If you do find one of these owls, always remember to view them from a distance. Flying away from their roost takes a lot of energy and if the owls are flushed repeatedly, they may be forced to take shelter in less suitable habitat.
At first, we couldn’t find any owls in the area where they had been seen but we know how hard they are to find so we kept slowly looking through the thick bushes. After a bit, we found one hidden deep in the brush. It was in a terrible spot for photos but I took on anyway.
We knew that four had been seen in the area so we continued our search hoping that one would be sitting in a better spot for some photos. We eventually found on that was perched closer to the trail but it was still obscured by branches. Unfortunately, it was so close to the trail that we didn’t want to try to go past it and accidentally flush the bird so we abandoned our search.