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glad to finally be joining this owl forum!
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: glad to finally be joining this owl forum! Reply with quote

Hi,

Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking around this forum for quite awhile now, have really enjoyed the posts, especially about owls in the wild, have learned a great deal, and decided to actively join in.

I photograph wildlife in every spare moment I have, and owls play heavily into that. I hope to get many more owl photographs, but for starters, I have a few on my photography website that you're welcome to look at:

http://www.nancywagnerphotography.com/owls.html

I look forward to participating,

Nancy
Bothell, Washington, USA
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theowlette
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Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 461
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Nancy. What beautiful photos you have!
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the welcome and the kind words about my owl photos - they're much appreciated!
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otus
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Snohomish, WA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, I happen to live in Washington too. In fact, I live just a few miles in Bothel. Do you happen to know any good areas nearby with owls? I'm pretty sure North Creek Park has owls and is near bothel. I go there everyonce in a while and it is a nice boardwalk about a half a mile or so and has plenty of wetlands too. Have you tried Discovery Park?

Well welcome to the forum.

-otus
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Otus,

I've seen your posts on here and wondered where in Seattle you were from - that's great that you're near here. Our area sure seems promising for owls.

I should check out North Creek Park. I keep watching in the Canyon Park area east of the 405 and north of 228th St SE - there's a business park in there and some ponds and trees along a creek, etc. that I walk. I haven't been back there too much at night, but I would think the area would be perfect for Barred owls and Great Horned owls. I've seen Great Horned owls in there before. There are also lots of snags near there, so I keep thinking cavities for Screech owls might be possible, too.

I occasionally hear Barred Owls in our neighborhood, and I live just a few miles from the area I just described. I constantly watch for nests and pellets, but haven't had much luck. But, I'm also kind of new at looking for these things.

I haven't tried Discovery Park, but I keep hearing reports from there about stuff. I've also enjoyed your posts about the Barred owls you keep hearing and trying to find. I hope you get to see and hear them even more often.

Nancy
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Otus,

Just thought of one more thing - have you been up to Skagit County near Conway where all of the snow geese stay in the winter? There are two areas near there that have lots of short-eared owls. I went up there over the weekend, but it was so windy and wouldn't you know it, lots of sunbreaks, so they were probably roosting on the ground, I imagine, but usually, I see lots of them there. Don't know if you're into Short-eared Owls, but I love looking for them since they migrate here in the winter, and they're easy to see on cloudy still days during the daytime.

Nancy
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otus
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Snohomish, WA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course I'm interested in short eared owls!

North Creek Park is located west of 527 and is actually right next to the road. I go there often and think it's a great habitat for barred owls and great horned owls although I have not heard them. I have seen a barn owl perched on a tree right next to the road. There are also surprisingly deer there along with 2 kinds of hawks..

Discovery Park is located in western Seattle and I also go there often, it would be a great place to take photos of owls. I know they have barred owls (at least 7 in August), Great Horned owls, screech owls, saw whets in this month I believe, plenty of barn owls (you can go up to the top of the field and there is a watch area there, if you watch the forest to the south barn owls usually come out of there around 10:00 PM or so and they also hunt during the day). You can see or hear or call barred owls from the parking lot at night or dusk and early in the morning right when the park opens you can hear soft great horned owl hoots sometimes.

I'm dying for just a quick drive somewhere around this area less than 20 minutes that has owls so I don't have to be in a car for an hour
Rolling Eyes . The area you talked about seems interesting and I searched it on the satellite but could not exactly find it.
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I definitely have to check out the North Creek Park area then. I just looked it up in Google, so now I see where it's at. Also, I didn't realize there were barn owls at Discovery Park. I need to check that out, too.

A few months ago, someone saw a barn owl at the marine landing park down near the 522 and the 527 in Bothell.

Here are directions to the one place I photograph short-eared owls quite a bit. There's another area, but I don't remember the directions. This is great, though, for hiking as you can hike all the way out to the island you can see from the dike (so, if you can hike it, I guess it's not really an island, huh?!!, but the locals call it an island), and there are all kinds of raptors, eagle AND lots of hawks up there in addition to the short-eared owls.

From Interstate 5, take Exit 221 (Lake McMurray/Conway) and turn west. Drive 0.1 mile. Turn right (west) onto Fir Island Road. Proceed West on Fir Island Road for about 4 miles and then as the road curves sharply to the right, youíll be going North for about a mile to Rawlins Road on the left hand side. Turn left on Rawlins Road and take this road all the way to the end, parking is right along the road, then walk up behind the signs, and youíll see the marsh in front of you. This is where Iíve been seeing 3 or 4 short-eared owls hunting.

Nancy
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otus
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Snohomish, WA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! I hope to be checking that area out soon. Can please you tell me exactly where the park is with the creek and pond that has owls? I can't find exactly where it is on satellite and canyon park is just a few miles from where I live.
Smile


-otus
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Otus,

Click on this link to go to a map of Bothell. Look for the pinkish area that says Canyon Park - from 228th, there's only one road (not the freeway) that takes you into the area with the ponds and trees. You'll want to walk around there and explore the area, it's pretty big. You can see the marshy area from 228th before you turn into Canyon Park.

http://www.explorebothell.com/about/neighborhoods/

I hope this helps, let me know if you need more info.

Good luck!

Nancy
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otus
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Snohomish, WA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! By the way, Crystal Lake looks right next by your area. Have you been there before? I have always wondered if there is like a park there or a place to walk around. It looks like promising owl habitat.

-otus
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't been to Crystal Park that I know of. Seems like there are lots of areas around us that should have owls. I'm always watching for saw whet owls on our property, but never see any. Seems like such good habitat for all kinds of owls, but not nearly as many around as I think there should be Smile
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owlboy
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Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Nancy. I looked at your photo gallery, and you have some very nice photos. Feel free to post some of your photos here. We always like looking at photos of owls.

There are a number of questions and comments, so I will address each of them.

Looking for nest and pellets is always a good indication for owls. But, also look for white wash on the trees. Once it snows, the pellets show up much easier. They really stick out like a sore thumb.

Barred Owls often nest in tree cavities that are 7 inches or larger. The nest is usually within 200 feet of a water source. November is the best time to put up a Barred Owl house. If you want plans on building one, just let me know. I have a pdf for one. Barred owls usually start nesting in February/March, and will stick around until July/August. From August to February, they are free flying, and are probably many miles away from their nesting site. They are quite vocal around dusk.

Snow geese and Canadian geese will often stop mid-winter and mid-summer in nice flat fields. Usually where you find geese, you will find lots of owls. Especially short-eared owls. Short-Eared owls will usually start hunting 1-2 hours before sunset. You can find them gliding just above the ground. When they find something, they will hover above the prey before dropping in the grab the vole/mouse. They usually hunt where there are lots of voles & mice. SEO will roost on the ground, but as soon as it snows, they will switch to roosting in trees. You can often find them roosting in the same tree as Long-Eared Owls. The parliaments can be as large as several hundred. In the USA, we usually get parliaments of a couple. In southern California they can have parliaments up to hundred LEOs.

Usually where I find lots of hawks and eagles, I find lots of owls. If you are driving past a place that has lots of hawks, this is a good indicator that you will also find lots of owls.

Saw-Whet owls often roost in dense bushes. Look carefully and you might find them. They also respond well to CD calls.
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nancyjwagner



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 52
Location: Bothell, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Owlboy, for the welcome. I've really appreciated reading your wisdom and expertise on this forum over the last few years.

Thanks also for the info on finding owls. Your suggestions are very good. And you're right, we do have Great Horned owls, Barred owls, and possibly some others up near the geese migration areas. It's also a great area for raptors, hosting 13 different species most of the winter.

The short-eared owls we see up here near Puget Sound actually hunt all day long as long as the weather is overcast and the wind is still. You can literally seem them drop to the ground once the sun comes out for more than a few minutes or when the wind picks up. They're also not too obvious when it's raining. So, calm, dry, but cloudy days are best. Doesn't do much for the photography lighting, I must admit! So far, I only see them roosting on the ground.

I'd love to get down to California to see the LEO, there's a huge colony of them near Mercer. Otherwise, we get 1 or two at most up here or up towards British Columbia.

I definitely have trouble with finding saw-whets, even when I'm looking right at one. That's what makes me think they could be in my yard (got my fingers crossed), but I'm just not finding them.

Another thing I've learned to do is watch for crows mobbing part of a tree. I've also seen nuthatches and chickadees "scolding" in an area only to find a Saw-whet hidden in there.

Guess you can tell I'm really into owls, huh?!!

Thanks again!

Nancy
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owlboy
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Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never seen SEO hunting during the middle of the day. You have to be careful sometimes about SEO and day hunting. Usually where you see SEO, you will also see Northern Harriers. From a distance and the underwings, you can mistake a Northern Harrier for a SEO. Sometimes both of them will roost in the same tree. But, I use the Northern Harrier to find SEO. So, it always works out good.

The best place to find LEOs in parliaments is in Owens Valley in California. You can find lots of LEOs in the foothills in the winter roosting season. You can learn about Owens Valley here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owens_Valley . There is a large LEO parliament around Bishop California. If you want some specific directions, I will see if I can find them. LEOs can be quite difficult to find. Of all the owls, they are quite crafty and sneaky at hiding. They always seem to show up in the oddest of places.

Saw-Whets are quite good at hiding. Using a CD at night will tell you immediately if you have any there. Some might be migrating and just passing thru.

Bird mobbings are aways a good sign that you either have hawks or owls roosting. In any event, I always investigate when I hear them.
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