Thursday, 12 March 2015

Owl Prowl: On the Prowl for Owl(s)

There's not many more exciting things for a birder to see and hear at night than an owl. It's easy to distinguish their calls that range from screeching and the more well-known hooting. Searching for owls at night can be very exciting but most birders go in the morning. But owls appear mostly at dawn and dusk and through all the night, so going while everyone else is asleep can be a very exciting adventure. You must remember though that many owls will be found in the day. They will be easier to spot especially in daylight. Who cares if they are sleeping? You saw your owl!

But before you go night prowling, if you go night prowling, it would probably be better if you knew a bit more about where and what and why, so that your owl prowl can be more successful and enjoyable.

Map it Out

Planning your trip ahead of time. It can save you parts of the night. Plan out where you're going to go at certain times.

Do Some Research

It can also be helpful to find out what species of owls you might be seeing and whether there are paths that you can walk through or if you're going through thick underbrush.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Though it may be hard to get rest because of your exciting night, it is best that you do. Lack of sleep can cause your ears and eyes to be less keen. Both of these senses are very handy when looking  for owls.

What to Look and Listen For

How do you know if an owls has been by lately. Look for these hints:
- Owls Feathers
- Owl Pellets
- Crow Mobbing (During the Day)

Listen for these Hints
- Screeching and Hooting
- Crow Mobbing (During the Day)

Crow Mobs

Have you ever seen a extremely high number crows together making a huge ruckus? They're not hard to notice since you can hear them indoors as well as outdoors. Over 100 crows can fit in one mob with only one of two missions. To mob owls or to harass birds for food. They will circle them, with their calls tease  them, and will even harm them. If you hear or see one of these mobs, there's certain to be an owl nearby. Be aware that not only crows mob! Other small birds do to. For more go to On the Mobbing of Owls by Christian Artuso.

So, now that your'e ready for the trip through the night, get your binoculars and go prowling.