FYI...This appeared on Ontario Canada birding
Member of the Province of Quebec Society For the
Protection of Birds
Subject: FW: Barred owl mortalities in Renfrew County
From: jeremy.inglis AT mnr.gov.on.ca
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 08:52:31 -0500
The following is posted with permission from Mark
Cranford. Renfrew County
is located along the Ottawa River north of Ottawa and
south of Algonquin
From: Inglis, Jeremy (MNR)
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 2:50 PM
To: 'mark.cranford AT ofo.ca'
Subject: Barred owl mortalities
I thought I would go through you to see if the
following was an appropriate
posting for Ontbirds. I work for the Pembroke District
Ministry of Natural
Resources which takes in all of Renfrew County. For
about the last 3 weeks
we have been receiving ever increasing reports of
diurnal barred owl
activity at bird feeders where the owls are attempting
to catch voles, red
squirrels and even ruffed grouse throughout daylight
hours. Since last week
we have received 4 dead (non-roadkilled) barred owls
at our office. Two were
found incidentally in forested areas and 2 have been
found in close
proximity to bird feeders. All appear to be quite
emaciated suggesting that
there is a lack of small mammals (or at least access
to small mammals).
There is still quite a crust on our snow (enough to
support the weight of a
deer) so I imagine that owls, and other predators, are
accessing prey. Just to be sure, we will be sending
some owls to Guelph for
necropsy but I imagine the diagnosis will be
I'm not sure if there are any data on barred owl
weights but I have been
attempting to collect a weight on dead owls whenever
possible, as follows:
1) BARR: Found below bird feeder Feb 15'05:
2) BARR: Found below bird feeder Mar 3 '05:
3) BARR: Incidental in forested area Mar 5 '05:
4) BARR: Incidental in forested area Mar 6 '05:
The following are road-kills for comparison.
5) BARR: Road-kill Feb 28 '05: 687.5 gm.
6) BARR: Road-kill Feb 28 '05: 554.9 gm.
I just received another report of a dead owl at a bird
feeder and I will
collect data on it as well. All of the above are
distributed throughout the
county. Presumably, barred owls are not as nomadic as
this year's Great
Grays and do not follow prey as the GGO's have done.
we have had some Great grays this winter in
agricultural areas closer to the
Ottawa River, most appeared to have moved south to the
Ottawa area, where
conditions and prey are presumably more favourable.
With the onset of the
breeding season, barred owls are probably even more
inclined to remain
within territories anyway.
Just thought I would pass this along in case a similar
occurring elsewhere. If there are declines in this
years owl surveys, this
type of mortality might be considered.
Fish and Wildlife Technical Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON K8A 8R6
Email. jeremy.inglis AT mnr.gov.on.ca
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