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March 05, 2015

Make Way, Squirrel Coming Through

We have seen grey squirrels pop up a few times at the nest, but this is the closest we have seen one get to the owlets. The squirrel would not likely attack the young birds, especially with Mom so near by. Mom appears to be roosting in the tree just out of the nest, perhaps giving her young some space as they grow and move around. 

March 04, 2015

Weasel on the Menu

A new prey item was delivered to the nest, this time a weasel. Although there is much variation among sites, years, and seasons, the general picture of a Great Horned Owl’s diet across North America is relatively consistent; however, in Montana, Microtus voles constituted 92.6 percent of year-round prey, a remarkably higher percentage than in any other study. On average, biomass of mammals is by far the largest component; e.g. in their review of 22 studies across North America, Cromrich et al. (2002) noted that mammals constituted a minimum of 93 percent of the prey base in all studies; however many of these studies were biased towards methods such as analysis of pellets and prey remains that exaggerate the number of heavier-bodied prey items. 

March 03, 2015

Carolina Wren Visits Nest

The Carolina Wren creeps around vegetated areas and scoots up and down tree trunks in search of insects and fruit. It explores yards, garages, and woodpiles, sometimes nesting there. This wren often cocks its tail upward while foraging and holds it down when singing. Carolina Wrens defend their territories with constant singing; they aggressively scold and chase off intruders. Thanks again to hikerbikergram for the great video clip. 

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