Diurnal Barn Owl
At 9:00 AM I watched a female Barn Owl for several
minutes about a two miles southeast of Nucla. She was
flying low over a cattail marsh and would plunge into
the vegetation every minute or so. I assume she was
after mice or birds. She never came up with anything
to eat. Then she would sit on a fence post for a few
minutes resting. Soon she would return to the hunt.
When I left an American Crow was giving her a hard
I have never seen Barn Owls hunt during the day.
Several birders have reported Barn Owls out of their
holes this winter during the daylight hours. Do you
suppose that this cold winter and snow have made it
difficult for these owls to find food? A couple of
days ago we had 7 1/2 inches of snow and the ground is
still covered. Night time temps have been in single
I was not aware until this winter that we have Barn
Owls around Nucla. This is the second owl. The other
owl was two miles west of town.
After Ron reported Sage Sparrows in the Grand Valley
on 28 Feb, I thought I had better check Dry Creek
Basin sagebrush for the sparrow. Yes, they were there
today. Several Feb records now exits for this sparrow
and a couple of winter records. The first migrant
record is 25 Feb 1996. Maybe we can proclaim this
migrant to be our earliest spring passerine.
I kept track of hawks today and a few other birds.
Bald Eagle 9
Northern Harrier 2
Red-tailed Hawk 9
Rough-legged Hawk 2
Golden Eagle 1
American Kestral 1
Barn Owl 1
Loggerhead Shrike 1
I also saw a River Otter in the Dolores River three
miles above Bradford Bridge. Nearby a Racoon was
catching crayfish also in the river.
Good day to be out.
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