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Owls, Eagles and Woodcocks Delight

Spring 2023 brings rebirth and birth.  One barred owl (Strix varia) pair has a very visible tree-cavity nest that will attract many human admirers this spring and observant visitors have frequently seen an active great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) in March.

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Barred owl (Strix varia)   Photo by Ed Eder
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Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus)  Photo by Ed Eder

Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are raising their young and American woodcocks (Scolopax minor) are engaged in their dramatic courtship display.  Cornell University’s All about Birds describes it this way: “The male woodcock’s evening display flights are one of the magical natural sights of springtime in the East. He gives buzzy peent calls from a display area on the ground, then flies upward in a wide spiral. As he gets higher, his wings start to twitter. At a height of 200–350 feet the twittering becomes intermittent, and the bird starts to descend. He zigzags down, chirping as he goes, then lands silently (near a female, if she is present). Once on the ground, he resumes peenting and the display starts over again.”

Please respect these birds and stay on the trail. Thank you, Ed Eder, for the photographs.

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