Owl Diary: March 11-18

Monday March 18 2019

Good-bye, Burrowing Owls! It’s been great having you here in our park. Thank you for all the delights and expressions of wonder that you gave to scores of park visitors. Apologies for the bad behavior of a few who allowed their dogs to harass you. May you have a successful breeding season up north in your summer home. We will work hard over the summer to create an even more welcoming winter home for you. We look forward to seeing you again in the Fall. And please bring your family and friends!

Sunday March 17 2019

When I visited around 4 p.m. on this beautiful sunny day with a light westerly breeze, the north owl was again absent. It is now a virtual certainly that this bird has migrated north to its breeding territory, wherever that may be. I will check the owl sites again tomorrow and, if no owls are present, I will suspend this diary until October.

Saturday March 16 2019

Family commitments kept me from the park today. Park visitors who know the north owl’s usual position told me that the north owl was absent again today.

Friday March 15 2019

As long-time Burrowing Owl observer Walter Karmazyn observed, beware the Ides of March. By March 15, he meant, the owls have migrated home. And so it seems. The north owl was a no-show both in the morning and in the afternoon when I went to check up on it. Beautiful weather, only a slight breeze. Chances are now very strong that it’s taken off. I look forward to seeing it again this coming fall.

Thursday March 14 2019

Visited park twice today, about 8:30 a.m. and again around 3:30 pm. North owl not visible. Too early to conclude it’s migrated, but the probabilities are trending in that direction.

Wednesday March 13 2019

Did not see the north owl at 8:30 a.m. nor at 4 p.m. This bird has taken breaks of several days, and then reappeared, several times in the past. It’s too early to conclude that it’s migrated, especially in view of the prevailing wind from the north that it would have to fight.

Tuesday March 12 2019

A stiff north wind that had the north bay roiled in whitecaps would have blown the north owl flat if it had shown up in its usual spot. The same wind would have seriously discouraged migration northward. My guess is that the north owl hid out in some sheltered spot today and will reappear tomorrow, weather permitting.

No sign of the east owl. It’s gone.

Monday March 11 2019

The north owl was in its usual spot when I visited shortly before 8 a.m., looking its best in the crisp morning sunlight. The forecast is for sunshine all day with temperatures peaking at 60 degrees, without serious rain the next ten days. Will the end of the serial rainstorms persuade this owl to stay here longer, or will the bird take the return of nice weather as a signal to head back home up north, wherever it came from?

Both I and photographer John Davis checked the premises where the east owl had resided, and saw no sign of this bird. I crossed the fence and inspected the various spots where this bird had perched, to look for feathers or other evidence of foul play. I found none. I believe that this bird, last seen here on March 4, has flown home. I hope to see it again in October or November.

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