Monday, February 1, 2010

A Search for Long-eared Owls

This morning a friend of mine, John Sumner, and I went looking for Long-eared Owls in western Indiana. John is a wildlife photographer and you can see his images at http://www.featheredimages.com/. We left Indianapolis at 8am after a quick stop at Starbucks and arrived at Shades State Park before 9. After getting all of our camera equipment ready, we set off into the woods to start our search. We spent the next hour and a half searching every pine tree in the area without any luck at all. We checked multiple trees that the owls typically roost in but they must have been somewhere else today. I did manage find 3 birds that were new for my 2010 Indiana list. They were Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxing, and Eastern Towhee

Since we didn't find a Long-eared as planned, we decided to check on a Bald Eagle nest that John has visited many times in the past. When we pulled up, there were 2 eagles sitting on the nest. Before I could get a picture, one of the eagles flew off but luckily the second one stayed put. This nest is huge and according to locals, it has been used every year for at least the past 10. I will definitely be back to check on the nest again!

Bald Eagle on its nest in Parke County, IN

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