Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nerdy Birdy: Chasing the Baby Saw Whet Owl's

Yesterday Mrs. Owlbait called and let me know that they had found a reliable place to see baby Saw Whet Owls. Since I had never seen this bird before and since babies generally only stick around for a few days at best I jumped at the chance to go up and hunt for them. Sure it was fourth of july, sure I had family planned to come over the house, but I simply couldn't resist the possibility of seeing these adorable little chocolate teddybears (as the baby Saw Whets are called in the birding community). I met the Owlbait's at our usual spot at the bottom of the Los Angeles crest around 8PM, just as it was getting dark. Fireworks were shooting off as we drove up, but fireworks I have seen a million times before. And there would always be next year.

An hour later we finally got to the location and we played the calls. For hours we looked in the trees. They were crying all around us, there were at least 3 possibly 4 and we just COULDN'T find them. No sooner than we would finally glimpse one and they would just fly off. We just couldn't seem to catch a break and get a good look, and I could FORGET trying to photograph. Mrs. Owlbait said that sometimes even if you find the birds they do not want to cooperate but we just kept on trying. Mrs. Owlbait, she is a girl after my own heart, she is tenacious that girl is!


As it got later and later we despaired at ever seeing them. I ended up joking that if Mrs. Owlbait could get me a good look then I would have to officially dub them Owl Royalty. I swear that made her try harder because 10 minutes later we got a quasi decent look. The baby Saw Whet was far, tucked into the bottom springs of a large pine tree. With all three of our flash lights and by zooming in on the photo I had only one shot that came out slightly clear. Yup I got a good look at my first ever Baby Saw Whet Owl. I didn't know who was more excited; me for seeing a new lifer and being able to cross this bird off my Nerdy Birdy List or Mr. & Mrs. Owlbait for attaining the title of Owl Royalty.


Missing the fireworks was totally worth this OWLING high!

UPDATE: Since we didn't get a fantastic look tonight we went up the mountain again on Friday hoping for another look or that they would at least be more cooperative. We were there for five hours, chasing them around, we could hear them all around us, they were close, yet despite how hard we looked we couldn't find them. Not one single look other than a flicker of wings as they took off. We hiked up hills and a little bit into the forest but no luck. It was the first time I went out owling and didn't see anything. Its the nature of the experience… sometimes you see them, sometimes you don't.

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

He's so tiny!! and cute too

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