Yuba Sutter Chamber of Commerce - Event Information - Yuba Sutter Chamber of Commerce
Small Mountain Owls and Their Natural History
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There are four species of small owls that inhabit the mountains of Colorado. These are the Boreal Owl, Northern Saw-wet owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl and the Flammulated Owl. All of these owls are cavity nesting species, and can be found nesting in close proximity to one another.
The Northern Pygmy-Owl is a 7-inch, diurnal owl that feeds upon voles, chipmunks and birds up to the size of American Robins and quail. The Flammulated Owl is about the same size and feeds primarily upon moths and other large insects. The Northern Saw-whetand Boreal Owls are in the same genius, and therefore look similar, and feed heavily upon mice and voles.
The Flammulated Owl is the only one of these that hoots. Both the Northern Pygmy-Owl and the Northern Saw-whet Owl’s give a series of whistled toots, and the Boreal Owl gives a snipe-like winnowing call.
Scott Rashid has been researching these owls for more than 20 years and has written the book Small Mountain Owls that details the natural history of these owls.
Scott will describe the natural history of each of these owls, including each of their courtship, nesting egg laying, feeding, fledging and post fledging activities of each species.
For example, Northern Pygmy-Owls are only active during the day and often prey upon nestling songbirds during the nesting season. Yes, they will actually go into the nests of other birds and take baby birds and deliver them to their own owlets. They are also capable of capturing,killing and carrying off birds and animals larger than themselves.
The diminutive Flammulated Owl is a hard to find species, whose soft hoots are commonly overlooked, as they are so soft, that if you’re footsteps through the woods, may be louder than the call of the owl. These tiny predators can be completely insectivorous.
The Northern Saw-whet Owl calls with a series of incessant toots that can go on for over an hour in the spring as they are trying to attract a female. These birds are incredible mouse traps, as they prey upon deer mice and other small mammals in large numbers. The largest of these, is the hard to find Boreal Owl. This species nests high in the spruce-fir forests, often above 9000 feet; and begins courtship when there is frequently several feet of snow on the ground, making them hard to find. Unlike the other small owls, Boreal Owls do not defend a territory, but rather only defend their nest tree.
Much of what Scott will discuss is information that he has uncovered about these secretive species.
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Pacific
Swan Central - Boyd Hall 1895 Lassen Blvd Yuba City, CA 95993 UNITED STATES