My daughter Rose and I returned to McGee CA, just south of Plattsburg, in Clinton county tonight and met Mike Niles to look for Short-eared owls. We were not disappointed as there were at least seven but I think possibly up to nine individuals. They were using the burnt area from the previous week and the areas of surrounding grass that hadn't been burnt. At the peak right before dusk, I used my binocs and quickly scanned from north to south and counted nine but they were flying around pretty good and I can't be sure I didn't count one or two that had circled up and around? I just stayed focused on the horizon of land. The snow cover really helped in viewing tonight but it might melt away tomorrow?
We had arrived about 5:00 p.m. and several raptors were active. We had one mature Bald Eagle, at least 7 Red-tailed Hawks, one American Kestrel, and two Northern Harriers. We saw a beautiful Rough-legged Hawk with all the distinct markings. It was very active and as we kept watching it fly around the area it eventually flew into a tree with another Rough-legged Hawk...so we had two. We also heard a Great Horned Owl calling just before we left along with a chorus of Coyotes.
There was definitely a lot of interaction between species as they would dive or harass each other. None of them messed with the Bald Eagle though.... The Short-eared Owls were also calling quite a bit!
A very enjoyable evening!!
Terry L. Miller
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"Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." Romans 1:20