[Tweeters] West Seattle Barred owls eat crow

J. Acker owler at sounddsl.com
Fri Jul 1 19:38:43 PDT 2005


Of the four Barred Owl nests I climbed this spring, all contained crow
feathers.  Crows are a favorite food source for Barred Owls.
-Jamie Acker

-----Original Message-----
From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Stewart
Wechsler
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 6:51 PM
To: tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] West Seattle Barred owls eat crow

Since were on the subject of the loss of nighthawks in Seattle and the
possibility that the crow population explosion is an important factor, I'm
especially interested in those who eat crow.  While showing the Barred Owl
family (2 adults + 3 juveniles) at Camp Long in West Seattle to 2 people
that came to see them we watched an adult owl chase a crow that came to
harass it.  We rooted for the Barred Owl.  It seemed close, but the crow
escaped.  (the highlight for me was for my first time seeing an owl vomit
out a pellet.  We also got to see the owls from close up as they made a
number of their different vocalizations.)  The next day one of the owl
watchers returned to see the juveniles being fed crow.  I went back to check
for the evidence yesterday and found feathers from an unfledged crow
(feathers still partially sheathed).  The pellet the day before had a dark
(probable tail) feather, but I wasn't sure if it was large enough for a
crow.  I don't expect that an increasing number of Barred Owls will diminish
the population of crows, but it was a nice idea that the immigrant owl
species might help their goat sucking cousins even while they eat their
spotted and screech owl brethren.

Stewart Wechsler
Ecological Consulting
West Seattle
206 932-7225
ecostewart at quidnunc.net

-Advice on the most site-appropriate native plants
 and how to enhance habitat for the maximum diversity
 of plants and animals
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