Monday, January 18, 2010

Short-eared Owls at the Battlefield

This evening towards dusk I made my way up to the Saratoga National Historical Park to try to see Short-eared Owls that had been reported earlier in the day. Between three birders we totaled five owls present. They would vocalize as they flew, a kind of harsh, barking sound. Two park-walking regulars, who appeared to be non-birders, said that they see these owls every year during mid-winter. So maybe this is a reliable spot for this species; I will have to look at previous CBC data and other databases to see if there are records for this location. They were seen from the red Neilson farmhouse, on top of the hill at Loop Road Tour Stop #2. The tour road appears closed to vehicles in the winter months, but this area can be accessed by parking on a short access road on the north side of Rt. 423/Rt. 32 about a mile in from Rt. 4. You can see the small, red farmhouse on the hill from the road.

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