Friday, January 30, 2009

A prairie visitor: Northern Hawk-Owl

This photo came to me from Tony Davidson who listens to the Birdline call-in show I do on CBC Radio's Blue Sky once a month. Tony called last night, "I was wondering whether hawk-owls are common in Regina."

They aren't common at all, but this winter, I told him, Regina has been lucky to have one living right inside the city. It first showed up a couple of weeks ago in Whitmore Park where Steven Weir found it. He and Bob Luterbach tracked it through the neighborhood over the following days and watched it settle in to its current haunts in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetary south of Assiniboine Avenue in east Regina.

That is where Tony came upon it, photographing as it perched in the hybrid poplars along Assiniboine. (For the whole story of the Regina hawk owl, see the Saskbirds birding forum archives from January 15 onward.)

Meanwhile, Regina birder and bird-bander Jared Clarke was up north in the normal range of hawk-owls where he and partner Kristen worked with Prince Albert bander Harold Fisher to band several owls, including a Hawk Owl and some Great Grey Owls.

Take a look at Jerad's blog posting for January 28. It tells about a recaptured owl that he ages and shows photos of Great Greys and a video of Kristen releasing one at dusk.

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