Thursday, May 10, 2007

Field Trip

Thursday mornings this Spring, our home school has been taking science field trips. This usually means heading east into the Crooked River National Grasslands, where we've been conducting a study (in its 12th year now) of a population of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus).

The highlight of this morning's adventure was banding the 5 baby Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) at a single nest. The nest structure itself (mostly dead juniper sticks in a large live juniper) was originally built by a pair of Black-billed Magpies (Pica pica), which only used it once. Long-eared Owls, which (like almost all owls) don't build their own nests, have used it four or five times since, generally producing three or four owlets in spring. This year's small mammal population seems to be better than average.

1 comment:

Ben Larson said...

That sounds so cool! Are you looking for another student Rick?