Fourth Owl, April 30th
Scott was kind enough to show me an owl in middle of the park this evening. I called Jean, and she came down to watch it with me. When dusk approached, I went up to watch the North Woods fly out and Jean stayed behind to study this forth owl of the season.
This was her wonderful report:
"Country owl, for sure - good long look at whole left leg (elaborate bath) not long after you left. Finally flew out around 8:10, to scrawny tree across downhill sidewalk. Mobbed and mobbed by robins and littler birds, and just sat there and took it for another 10 min, then moved to evergreen just below the roost one, mobbed and mobbed and didn't move. That's her hunting strategy, apparently: she just sat and waited until one of them got too bold and then WHAM! Ben came by just before that - I couldn't believe that's what I saw, but he said he definitely saw robin-size package in talons - clever little owl."
N.B: The reference to "Country owl", was that the owl did not look to be banded. I had taken pictures of the right leg earlier and Jean got a good look at the left leg. We could have missed the band, they're hard to see, but if the bird is not banded, it could either be a mature second generation bird born to owls released in 2001 or a migrant from outside the park. The later seemed most realistic at the time, hence the phrase "Country owl". However in hindsight, we really don't know enough to make a guess.