Owling in Boston Common

On my way back to Logan airport in Boston I made a few final stops on my trip.  I had read that a couple of owls were seen in day roosts, and I decided to check it out.

Finding owls often involves prowling around in the middle of the night, listening for hooting and shining your dim flashlight up in the trees.  The owls are active, and often hard to spot.  Some people use tapes or recordings of the owl’s call to draw it in closer, which can potentially disturb the owl – especially if it happens frequently or during a sensitive time such as nesting season.

Finding owls at their day time roosts can be quite challenging, but if you do get a good lead it is the easiest way to see owls.  The light makes the owl much easier to observe, and it is usually sleeping so you aren’t as likely to be bothering it as long as you stay quiet and don’t get too close.

At Fresh Ponds in Cambridge, I located this mostly-asleep Eastern Screech-owl:

Eastern Screech-owl

It was roosting in a hollow tree near the lake.  Eastern Screech-owls come in different color morphs – this one appears to be a red morph.

Then it was on to Boston Public Garden, immediately adjacent to Boston Common near downtown.  This Barred Owl was doing its best to ignore the scolding chickadees that were quite upset that this interloper had invaded their usual willow tree.

Barred Owl

Barred Owls aren’t usually seen inside Boston, but there is an irruption this winter – probably hungry owls moving south in search of food.

Time now to pack up my scope and head to the airport!  It was a good trip.

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2 Comments

Filed under Birding

2 responses to “Owling in Boston Common

  1. Jason Tuttle

    Owls are awesome.

  2. Pingback: Flammulated Wowl | Periodic Wanderings

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