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Short-eared Owl

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018

You have seen a lot of Snowy Owl posts from me during this terrific irruptive season, and they are still with us in early 2018. However, I was lucky enough to enjoy this Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) actively hunting yesterday afternoon at Stratford Point. The bird may have just joined us that day as it was certainly very conspicuous, and it seemed quite hungry – though it was exceptionally talented at hunting with multiple kills!

Short-eared Owls are ‘endangered’ in New York and their wintering population is ‘threatened’ in Connecticut. Undisturbed grassland habitats like this are increasingly rare in our area. It is extremely important to allow individuals this bird the chance to feed successfully and find quiet places to perch and roost, and Stratford Point provides such a safe haven so long as our visitors are respectful. For the most part the bird ignored birders and people walking the trails, and as always, my shots are cropped from 500mm. Best land management practices by Audubon Connecticut, Sacred Heart University, and RTPI help a variety of species utilize our natural areas in their time of greatest need whether it be during breeding, migration, or winter seasons. In other words, your support flies all the way down to allow birds like this one a chance to survive in a changing and difficult world – so, thank you! We, and these beautiful animals, need your help to attain all of our goals for this upcoming year.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator