Monday, November 4, 2013

Boreal Owl

We normally think of fall as a time of the year when Canadian Geese, Loons, Swans, Hummingbirds, Robins and a variety of other birds leave our back yard feeders for warmer climates.

But did you know that there are many varieties of birds that call Wisconsin home during the winter months? During the next few months we will highlight several of these birds who leave the cold and snow of their summer home for the cold and snow of our neighborhoods.

We start off with one of the most elusive members of the owl family - Boreal Owl.

These seldom seen owls are among the smallest members of the owl family and are rarely seen in the state of Wisconsin. However, earlier this year a crash in the rodent population in Canada forced several species of owls, including the northern hawk owl, great gray owl and boreal owl, to venture further and further south in search of food. It is unknown how many of these birds ventured into Wisconsin. The rare bird alert on the website of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology saw numerous posting, including observations of owls as far south as Dane and Kenosha counties.

Several sitings of Boreal Owls occurred near bird feeders as the owls were attracted to the mice that are found under the feeders.

This YouTube video shows a Boreal Owl hunting in daytime