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Long-eared Owl

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  • Bob Keiffer
    Sunday - 29 June 2008 - Last week a UC researcher reported to me that she & fellow surveyors believed that they had several young Long-eared Owls respond
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 29, 2008
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      Sunday - 29 June 2008 - Last week a UC researcher reported to me that she & fellow surveyors believed that they had several young Long-eared Owls respond during their night-time surveys on adjacent property to the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center. I played a Cornell tape of juvenile Long-eared Owls for her and she thought was identical to what they had heard. Tonight I ventured out to the vicinity of where they had heard the reponses. I arrived at around 9:20 PM at a side road on the UC Hopland REC ...which bisected open grassland and the dense hardwood forest where they had heard the earlier responses. I sat quietly on the tailgate of my pickup as I prepared the tape caller and spotlight. During this time I thought I heard a strange bark-like owl call about 100 yards away in the dense forest. I proceeded to call the typical Long-eared owl "hoot" call for about a minute. After waiting a few minutes I called again with just a few hoot notes ....and waited again. The third time that I called I saw the silhouette of an owl fly in from the direction that I had heard the earlier bark-like call ...and it alighted in a tree about 60 feet away from me. I turned the tape caller down low and proceeded to play the tape again while I had the spotlight ready. Within a couple notes of playing the owl left its perch and flew directly over me ...at which time I flipped the spotlight on the bird which was 25 feet directly over my head. It circled two complete tight circles directly over me in grand light ....I could see the orangish facial disks, the vertical streaks on the breast, the dark "coma" marks on the underwing "wrists", the "barn owl" size as compared to huge size that a Great Horned Owl would be. There was no doubt .... an adult Long-eared Owl. The owl flew back to the direction that it came ....I turned the light off as it disappeared about 250 feet away. Good birding! Bob Keiffer

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    • Robert J. Keiffer
      Tuesday - 1 July 2008 - Chuck Vaughn & I met with several other birders to pursue the Long-eared Owl that I posted on Monday. We arrived at the site shortly
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 2, 2008
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        Tuesday - 1 July 2008 - Chuck Vaughn & I met with several other
        birders to pursue the Long-eared Owl that I posted on Monday. We
        arrived at the site shortly after 9:00 PM. Even before I had the
        caller equipment set up, at around 9:15 PM, two Long-eared Owls flew
        out from the hardwood grove and flew about over the open grassy
        field, sometimes flying overhead. One of the owls lighted in a dead
        oak for about one minute ....one could see short ear tufts through
        binoculars. I believe that this was an immature bird ...but I cannot
        be sure. We never did hear them vocalize, but they put on quite a
        display for a couple of minutes. Later a Barn Owl flew over the same
        grassy field ...it had much faster wingbeats than the LEOWs ...and of
        course was very light on the underneath side as compared to the
        LEOWs. Good birding. Bob Keiffer


        Robert J. Keiffer
        Principal Supt. of Agriculture
        UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
        4070 University Road
        Hopland, CA 95449
        (707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
        HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html

        "It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how
        the strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have
        done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the
        arena." Theodore Roosevelt

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      • Bob Keiffer
        Friday - 4 July 2008 - The family of Long-eared Owls discovered at the UC-Hopland Research & Extension Center has now moved about a half-mile from the original
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 5, 2008
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          Friday - 4 July 2008 - The family of Long-eared Owls discovered at the UC-Hopland Research & Extension Center has now moved about a half-mile from the original site. This is good news to those who wish to pursue this species as the new site is right along University Road ...which is a county road with access to everyone. For the last two nights the family group of three or four fledged young plus at least one adult has been at this location. To get there, go to Hopland on Hwy 101, then east on Hwy 175 to a small community called "Old Hopland" (there is no sign). As you pass through this little community you will reach a round-a-bout on Highway 175 ...head north onto Old River Road. Go about 200 yards and University Road will be on your right (east side). Follow University Road ....you will pass irrigated pasture on your left and vineyard on your right, then cross a cattleguard and pass an old barn on your left. Continue on University Road as you begin to climb a fairly steep grade. As you climb the grade the road makes a sharp turn to the right, then makes another jog-turn to the right, and then you will see a large pullout on your right. At this point you are almost at the top of the grade climb. Below this pullout, which is to the south, is a small pocket canyon of thick oaks, pepperwoods, etc. BE THERE AT DUSK, by 9:00 PM, and listen quietly for the juvenile calls, a high pitched, single note "eeeeckkk" (identical to the Cornell juv. long-eared owl recording). Last night all of the juveniles were very vocal, and could be seen flying through the trees occasionally. We were able to get one good look at a perched bird. One adult was there for a while but then flew to the north and away, I presume to hunt for nightime snacks to bring back to the young. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

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        • Robert J. Keiffer
          13 January 2009 - Tuesday - Chuck Vaughn & I checked on the Long-eared Owls this morning and only found one bird in the pepperwood roost tree. Why both birds
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 13, 2009
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            13 January 2009 - Tuesday - Chuck Vaughn & I checked on the
            Long-eared Owls this morning and only found one bird in the
            pepperwood roost tree. Why both birds were not there today I cannot
            explain as they seemed quite settled in yesterday as I left them. The
            bird today was much more scittish than yesterday and flushed as I
            attempted to get a good photo. I will try to monitor the tree from a
            distance in the future. Good birding. Bob Keiffer

            Robert J. Keiffer
            Principal Supt. of Agriculture
            UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
            4070 University Road
            Hopland, CA 95449
            (707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
            HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html

            "It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how
            the strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have
            done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the
            arena." Theodore Roosevelt

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          • George Chaniot
            Wed, 25 Aug 2010 -- I was awakened at 03:30 this morning by what sounded like a group of geese calling in the moonlight. I went out on the deck to listen and
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 25 9:40 AM
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              Wed, 25 Aug 2010 -- I was awakened at 03:30 this morning by what sounded
              like a group of geese calling in the moonlight. I went out on the deck to
              listen and instead I heard a LONG-EARED OWL calling about 150 yards away.
              It called four times in 15 minutes, or about once every five minutes. This
              was my third encounter here in 31 years. I never did figure out the goose
              thing - maybe a very distant group of coyotes yapping.

              George Chaniot
              Potter Valley, MEN, CA
            • Robert Keiffer
              21 November 2012 - This morning, while awake but still in bed (Feliz Creek Road, one mile west of Hopland), I was surprised by the typical long hoot calls of a
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 21, 2012
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                21 November 2012 - This morning, while awake but still in bed (Feliz Creek Road, one mile west of Hopland), I was surprised by the typical long hoot calls of a LONG-EARED OWL. At first I was thinking Northern Saw-whet Owl or vehicle backup alarm, but careful listening clarified the monotonous long-low hoots of the long-eared owl. The calling started at 5:17 AM and stopped abruptly at 5:20 AM. The nighttime rains had stopped and the skies were filled with stars at the time ...soon to be covered by thick fog. I could not pinpoint the exact location, but I believe it was coming from an oak-covered small ridge with many7 grassy openings about 1/8 mile away.

                Good birding. Bob Keiffer rjkeiffer@...<mailto:rjkeiffer@...>

                [Toolkit_Email_Sig_WIN]
                Robert J. Keiffer - Superintendent
                UC ANR, Hopland Research & Extension Center
                4070 University Rd.
                Hopland, CA 95449
                707-744-1424 ext. 112
                Office hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00

                Please check out our Website: http://ucanr.org/sites/hopland/
                Also, take a look at our blog (updated daily): http://ucanr.org/blogs/Hopland/index.cfm



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