John Zhender reports that he saw a short-eared owl on a fence post on May 6th on the Zhender farm! He has not seen one for a number of years and is pleased to see the owl return. Short-eared owls is named for distinctive tufts of feathers on the head. It is found in open areas and grasslands feeding primarily on rodents.
Also of interest to birders is this Golden Eagle with Blue wing tags. This bird has been seen many times on the farm hunting ground squirrels or feeding on road kills. John did a Googled search and found out that the eagle had been tagged by the “Raptor View Research Institute” in Montana. The eagle sighting was reported to Rapter View and the researcher, Robert Domenech who had tagged the eagle wrote back that this eagle was tagged in 2009 in Montana. Unfortunately, the institute tried a different type of plastic tag that year and consequently the white identification numbers painted on the tags faded out. Consequently they have no history on this eagle other than the year it was tagged. Raptor View relies on observant birders to send in sightings to help researchers define migration corridors, breeding and wintering grounds. The researcher thinks this eagle is a “territorial” eagle so likely is nesting in our area. Typically Golden Eagles only visit here while they migrate between their wintering areas in the American mountain states to nesting areas in the Yukon. Check out the Rapter View website at www.raptorview.org.
The Zhender Ranch has been a location of Wings events for many years. Thanks John for sharing your sightings.