21 February 2011

Suburban Short-eared Owl

This was one of the strangest things I had seen in a long time...

Around 6:15 PM when I was heading home from campus, I turned onto Todd Avenue here in west Ames (like I do every day) to find a SHORT-EARED OWL hunting in a small open area.  This is surely the most suburban setting I've ever seen one and would have never, ever expected to find one using such a small piece of "habitat".

Here is a map of the location:

View SEOW spot in a larger map

Although these weren't taken in Iowa (in Nebraska instead), here are a few pictures of SHORT-EARED OWLS:

The HARRIS'S SPARROW that has been frequenting my feeders since January is still present but no sign of the 7 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS since the thaw.