Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nature Notes

Richard, our Resident Naturalist, says that our Farm could conceivably have the following Nesters this Season: 1 Great Horned Owl Pair, 1 Barred Owl Pair, 2-3 Screech Owl Pairs. He says our Little 40 Acres is well developed for such doin's.

Melanie asked what he meant. He says our Farm with its mix of Woods and Meadow is a mosaic of good habitat for them. They have everything they need for food and habitat.

Will they get along? Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls can get on each other's nerves. They eat a similar diet of Rabbits, Skunks, and Opposums. We know for sure that Rabbit Populations up in their cycle. Screech Owls are much smaller and offer less competition. Their principal diet is Mice. And do we have deal for them.

The Barred Owl is an "8 Hooter": "Who Cooks for Me? Who Cooks for You?" The Great Horned Owl, on the other hand makes those characteristic "Who's" repeated several times. And the Screech Owl? Well, it screeches. We laughed because our 2 1/2 year old neighbor knows that the Barred Owl sings "Who Cooks for You?" And she sings it with exuberance.

We've heard Great Horned Owl sounds these past few nights. Richard noted that their pitches are different. He thought the higher pitch was the female. That means we likely have a Pair setting up housekeeping. They are homesteading too.

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