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Short-eared Owlet Growth Curves

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Jim Duncan

Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Manitoba, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Short-eared Owlet Growth Curves Reply with quote

Hi all.

This past summer I hatched and raised a brood of short-eared owls (Asio flammeus). They came from a nest that was destroyed during cultivation of a farm field and the eggs were subsequently recovered by the farmer.

I measured mass or weight gain and ulna (wing bone) length every day.

All but one young were hacked and released late summer after training them to live prey. It was quite an exerience!

I think it would be useful to others doing field work on this species if I wrote up the growth data and published it.

I searched the literature briefly and only found mass growth data (measured at multi-day periods) for this species in Heimo Mikkola's wonderful Owls of Europe book.

If any one knows of published or unpublished data on this subject for this species would you please let me know?

Jim Duncan
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Cumbria, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject: Shorties Reply with quote

Hi Jim,

Sounds like some interesting research, we would certainly like a copy of any papers produced on the subject.

Sue Dewar said that she was doing some research into Short-eared Owls on the Isle of Mull. I think she might be registered on this site, or if you send an e-mail to me than I will pass it on to her. I don't like handing out addreses etc without asking first, but you could do a google search for Wings Over Mull, that ought to locate her!

Hope you find the info you need,

Conservation Officer, World Owl Trust, UK
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Wings over Mull

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Isle of Mull, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:48 am    Post subject: Short-eared Owl growth curve Reply with quote

Jenny Holden of the World Owl Trust suggested I contact you - you may not have read the following data on Short-eared Owls:

Holt, D.W., Melvin, S.M., and B. Steele. 1992. Nestling growth rates of Short- eared Owls. Wilson Bull. 104: 326-333.

Holt, D.W. and S.M. Melvin. 1986. Population dynamics, breeding biology and food habits of the Short-eared Owl in Massachusetts. Summary of 1985 research. Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Report, 58 p

I am currently carrying out a study of the breeding biology of Short-eared Owls on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. Until the mid-1990s the island had a healthy population of Short-eared Owls but numbers plummeted and by 2000 there were just odd pairs being seen. Last year, following a great deal of searching, I had 7 nests to study, and this year the numbers promise to be as good, if not better. We have had 3 peak vole years, but the owls have a great deal of competition from other raptors - Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, Common Buzzard Buteo buteo, European Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, Barn Owl Tyto a. alba, Tawny Owl Strix aluco and Long-eared Owl Asio otus. We have also had the occasional record of Short-eared Owl being predated by White-tailed Sea Eagle Haliaetus albicilla. This year I plan to follow one pair through from mating to fledging young - the birds have just begun displaying in the last week.

Incidentally, I have 3 wild, permanently disabled Short-eared Owls in an aviary at present. I am hoping that they will breed this year so that I too can gather data on growth curves.

I would be very interested to read your paper, and will forward you details of any material I manage to collect this year.

Best regards,

Sue M. Dewar
Wings over Mull Birds of Prey Conservation Centre & Sanctuary
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:29 am    Post subject: Very nice resource - thank you. Reply with quote

Very nice resource - thank you. ------ Bob Richman.
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