Thursday, July 24, 2014

old Long-eared Owl nesting record ...

from Midland ... that's about 20 years old.

I grew up in northern Midland Co and towards the end of high school started exploring the woods behind the house.  I really under-birded it, but at the time with no internet and no mentors didn't really have a clue as to what to look for when.  Internet access in college was pretty helpful though. 

In late May of 98 I was cutting through a section of woods which was 2nd growth forest taking over an orchard with some scattered large white and (I think) Scotch pines when I came across a gray shape resting on a branch.  I didn't see it until I was probably 3 feet away.  My initial impression was that it was the stupidest squirrel in the history of the world and I'd just about decided to backhand it right off the branch on general principle when I realized it was feathered.  I backed up pretty quickly and went back inside for the camera, (this is a digital photo of the photo)...
 The camera even at the time was at least 25 years old so the image quality isn't awesome to say the least.

I found the adults the next day, they were a lot more cautious and flew pretty quickly despite the fact that the "lens" I was using was an equally old Swift telescope.

Somewhere in my childhood house there's a photo of a Varied Thrush we had coming into our feeders one winter; I have no idea when/if I'll relocate it though.

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