Barn owl defends her young against snake


This video from the USA says about itself:

Barn Owl Attacks Snake Entering Nest Box. May 6, 2015

Watch this incredible footage of Dottie the female Texas Barn Owl defending her young against a Texas Rat Snake that attempted to enter the nest box.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA about this:

Earlier this month, we witnessed a reminder that the Texas Barn Owls aren’t the only ones hunting for food during the night. Despite extensive predator guards installed around the owls’ box, a Texas rat snake gained access to the rafters. Our cameras captured the ensuing showdown as the snake approached the nest box entrance. Despite the midnight darkness, Dottie (the female owl) evicted the snake from the box, then, moments later, gathered her nestlings back to safety beneath her. Watch video [above].

It’s not just other predators that make raising a family of Barn Owls tough. The breeding ecology of Barn Owls can be boom-or-bust. They can be prolific breeders, often laying six or more eggs during a single breeding attempt, but if there’s not enough prey to support all of the nestlings, many can perish. One 16-year study in Utah found that, on average, only 63 percent of eggs hatched and 87 percent of hatchlings survived to fledging. This year, only 5 of 6 eggs hatched in the Texas Barn Owl nest and the youngest owlet (hatched nearly 11 days after the oldest) did not survive. The four remaining owlets appear healthy and well, and we are hopeful that they will survive to fledge. Watch cam.

Great horned owls, red-tailed hawks, new study


This video from the USA says about itself:

Great Horned Owl Hooting Territorial Evening Call At Sunset

31 December 2012

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) calling for it’s mate on Dixon Branch of White Rock Creek in Dallas, Texas. This particular owl was hooting a territorial call for another owl that can be faintly heard some distance away beginning after the call around the 1:50 mark. The owls call to each other in a duet before finding each other for night hunting and nest building.

Found from the Arctic to the tropical rainforest, from the desert to suburban backyards, the Great Horned Owl is one of the most widespread and common owls in North America. Capable of killing prey larger than themselves, the Great Horned Owl is one of the larger winged predators in the United States.

Often heard but rarely seen the birds are very difficult to photograph since they are nocturnal. This video was shot using Canon Magic Lantern software which allows for extreme low light photography. It was also filmed at a considerable distance giving the owl plenty of space to act naturally. The bird was a couple hundred feet from the camera. It’s important to keep a code of ethics when around large predators such as this. They need a wide berth to not be stressed.

From Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science in the USA:

Landscape Differences around Nests of Great Horned Owls and Red-Tailed Hawks

William Langley

Butler Community College, El Dorado, Kansas

Nesting territories of great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) frequently overlap, with the owls using nests of other raptors. Records of use over a 22-year period in one locality were used to distinguish nesting sites used exclusively by great horned owls, exclusively by red-tailed hawks, and those used by both.

To determine the occurrence of various landscape characteristics within the proximity of a nest structure, I measured the total area of various land use types, total perimeter length, and the size of patches across six different land use types i.e., agriculture, pasture, residential, tree, pond, and roadside within circular plots around nests used by breeding pairs.

The landscape features surrounding nests of great horned owls differed from those surrounding red-tailed hawk nests in total perimeter length and size of patch. These differences are consistent with the fact that great horned owls hunt from perches primarily at night using sensory modalities different than diurnal hunting red-tailed hawks.

Cartoons and Islamophobia in the USA


This animated cartoon by Mark Fiore in the USA says about itself:

Pam Geller’s Islamification

13 May 2015

There are only so many ways you can say, “shooting cartoonists is wrong and free speech is great.”

Feel free to check out my previous responses to cartoonists being attacked or Muhammad cartoons being drawn. When I heard about the “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, I was curious about who would organize such a “festival.” (Having organized a cartoon festival myself, I think you can hardly call a two-hour meeting a “festival,” but I digress.) You can read more here.

Wood ducks visit Texas barn owls


This video from the USA says about itself:

Early in the morning of April 20, 2015, a pair of Wood Ducks investigated the Texas Barn Owls‘ box. The female owl responded with a series of aggressive reactions that resulted in the ducks departing.

New York City rare birds update


This video from the USA says about itself:

Crested Caracaras in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas
30 apr. 2013

Crested Caracaras at Martin Refuge. Meat scraps from roadkill, taxidermists or chicken from the grocery store is put out to bring in caracaras for people to photograph.

From The City Birder blog in New York City in the USA:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 10, 2015

– RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 10, 2015
* NYNY1504.10

– Birds mentioned

CRESTED CARACARA+ (Orange County)
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
Snowy Egret
Glossy Ibis
Black Vulture
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Broad-winged Hawk
Lesser Yellowlegs
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
SNOWY OWL
Chimney Swift
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Eastern Towhee
Boat-tailed Grackle

– Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form …

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin – Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 10th 2015 at 7pm. The highlights of today’s tape are an Orange County CRESTED CARACARA, SNOWY OWL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER plus other Spring migrants.

This morning a CRESTED CARACARA was found in Montgomery, Orange County. The bird was seen on the west side of River Road about a mile north of Route 17K frequenting the field near two ponds. Issues to be addressed of course would be the bird’s provenance and whether it is a northern or southern Caracara. The northern would presumably be the expected species. The bird did disappear later in the day.

Otherwise with the Spring season somewhat delayed the March doldrums have been pushed back into April but once the weather breaks for good migrants should begin streaming rather than trickling in.

Most of the rarities have a Winter flavor including SNOWY OWL Monday to Wednesday in the marshes off Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet near Tiana Beach. Fortunately this owl seems to be staying far enough out to discourage pursuit. The immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported again at Jones Beach West End on Thursday and a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS continue around Point Lookout seen Thursday off Lido Beach. In Brooklyn both GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS continue to be seen around Gravesend Bay including near the Caesar’s Bay shopping mall. Other single GLAUCOUS GULLS were noted at Shinnecock Inlet Monday and Orient Point Thursday. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Jones Beach field 6 Thursday and a few RED-NECKED GREBES also remain along the Brooklyn and Staten Island shoreline.

Two somewhat out of place species were a female BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE spotted on the east side of the landfill at Croton Point Park last Sunday and single PILEATED WOODPECKERS in a Bethpage yard last Sunday and at the Cemetery of the Resurrection on Staten Island at least through Thursday.

Two BLACK VULTURES spotted over Central Park Monday afternoon were subsequently seen continuing north over Inwood Hill Park.

Among the landbirds certainly the YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Valley Stream State Park was the most unusual this bird found March 30th still frequenting the same area at least to Wednesday at the south end of the park and sometimes just across Hendrickson Avenue. Another YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was back at Connetquot River State Park in Oakdale as of Tuesday. Please keep any disturbance of the nesting Connetquot birds to an absolute minimum.

A few new arrivals and an increasing number of those appearing a little earlier. Besides the PINE and PALM WARBLERS and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES scattered about a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER appeared in Prospect Park Sunday. Other reported passerines have included BANK, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and CLIFF SWALLOWS, HOUSE WREN, WOOD THRUSH, some BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS as of Monday, EASTERN TOWHEE and various sparrows.

Among the arriving non-passerines have been SNOWY EGRET, GLOSSY IBIS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, BROAD-WINGED HAWK and CHIMNEY SWIFT.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or during the day except Sunday call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.