Hi Charlotte,

Since this is only the 2nd count ever, it probably doesn't make a lot of 
difference one way or another if you play a tape.  You have 1 year of 
data and 1 Barred Owl.  If you go 1 for 2, or 2 for 2, you are still a 
long way from being able to note any trends.

More generally, with respect to owling and tapes/vocal imitations, the 
probability of hearing them in December without any encouragement is 
low.  Not zero, just low.  But, CBCs are really the only long-term data 
source that we have for owl populations.  There are banding studies here 
and there, but nothing as comprehensive as the CBC.

So, I don't know that I have an answer one way or another, but in 10 
years, someone might look at the 2013-14 CBC data and say owls, 
then look at the weather data and note that they must have all died 
because of the ice storm...when the reality is that no one tried any 
playbacks.  So, my recommendation would be that if you are not going to 
do any playbacks, it would still be worthwhile walking around at night 
for the same length of time that you did last year so you have 
comparable effort data. That will be the best way to compare your 
results across years.


On 1/1/2014 6:25 PM, Charlotte Bill wrote:
> Our second-ever East Franklin County CBC is coming up this Saturday, January 4.
> Last year, we used a tape and added a responding Barred Owl to our count. I am very ambivalent about playing a tape this year. The ice storm left between 0.75 and 1 inch of ice on everything here (and left Hal and me without power for more than four days).
> I am thinking that owls in our area are already stressed and we should not be playing tapes this year simply to add them to the CBC count.
> I would truly appreciate discussion of/response to this issue on and/or off list.
> Thank you,
> Charlotte Bill
> Enosburgh, VT


Allan M. Strong
University of Vermont
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
220L Aiken Center

81 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, VT 05405