Tag Archives: owl

Flammulated Owl in the Northern Sierras

Flammulated Owl – Movements

Adult Flammulated Owl in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

An adult Flammulated Owl near Lake Davis in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California.

Flammulated Owl is a spring and summer resident throughout the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is the second smallest owl in North America, and smallest of the eared owls. Only the Elf Owl is smaller. It is also the most migratory owl in North America. This owl completely leaves the US every year for its winter haunts in Southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Flammulated Owl – Size and Habits

The Flammulated Owl is just slightly larger in size than a House Sparrow. Quite often it is 30 to 40 feet high in thick pines. Being dark brown in color and having a very ventriloquial call it is difficult to locate. The strictly nocturnal Flammulated Owl can be extremely difficult to get good looks at in the darkness of night. This is further complicated by the fact that it is almost completely mute outside of its breeding season. That time is not now. It is vocal for about a month between mid-May and mid-June. Continue reading

Western Screech-owl calling

Western Screech-Owl with the Canon 7D Camera

Western Screech-Owl

Western Screech-Owl

Last month a couple of us went into Silverado Canyon to try and capture video of a Western Screech-Owl with the new Canon 7D camera. Since we found this cute little screech-owl right next to the road we used him as our test subject for our night-time video skills.

Night photography is always a challenge but with this camera in video mode, it was surprisingly simple to get great footage “fresh out of the box”. We set out this evening with only a small flashlight, camera, and tripod. Our results were very pleasing since this was our first attempt using so little equipment.

Canon 7D Camera

First of all the Canon 7D represents a big technological jump in digital photography. This camera delivers video and photo capabilities that give professional results at a reasonable cost to any amateur photographer.

We have now spent enough time with this camera to know that the rave reviews we hear about it are well justified. We took this video in the field at low light levels with minimal equipment, thus limiting the impact on the subject. The Canon 7D did a great job, producing high-quality video of Western Screech-owl under compromising conditions.

Western Screech-Owl

Western Screech-Owl has the highest population density in the foothills of our local area. In oak habitat of the Western United States this owl is a common resident. He is very similar to the other three species of screech-owls found in the US. The most obvious and defining characteristic of all owls is their call. The “bouncing ball” call of the Western Screech-Owl is very distinctive and make his identification very simple. The birdwatchers often miss actually seeing this owl even though he is fairly common. This owl lives in dense wooded habitat. Furthermore his very well camouflaged plumage makes him very difficult to locate by voice.

 

 

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