In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Long-eared Eviction

 No, this isnt the one about the pair that have been chased off by the local secateur wielding camera-men...

This is much more interesting.....

One of our local pairs of Long-eareds have been roosting in an Ivy covered tree.
The location is bypassed on a daily basis, with dog walkers & ramblers passing within yards of the birds - as usual, this is of no consequence & they have been faithful to this particular roost spot for at least 10 weeks.

The nature of the roost means the birds are VERY difficult to see, but at this stage of the season, the tell tale white splash can most probably be seen from outer space !

Heres an image from the back end of 2011 - the Long-eareds facial disc is all we can make out :-

......and as you can see, he was still there just a week or so ago :-

Now, imagine my surprise, on looking through the 'scope today........ i had to have a double check :-

I thought i was going round the bend ! 
Cheeky, big brown......... thing !    Its chored the Long Fellas hiding spot & even sitting on his exact perch !

This situation would seem to be very clear cut, & theres a lot in ' the literature ' about Tawnies being dominant & ousting Long-eard's.....

My experiences in multiple locations of pairs of both species living in close proximity for decades, leads me no to share that opinion entirely...

I have my own theory on whats happened here & will be following it up over the coming weekend....

Heres a recent Tawny pic from the Old Cemy at home :-


Christian said...

Squatters rights I suppose Stevie!

Secateur wielding! Love that!

Rid said...

Nice story mate, whats the story about with the secateur cameramen?

Stevie Evans said...

Hello fellas
Some local 'camera-men' have had owl photos 'pulled' off the BirdGuides gallery as they have been seen harrassing & purposely flushing owls to obtain images.
Also persons unknown have been removing branches & twigs from roost trees again to obtain clearer images.
Calling them Muppets is an insult to Jim Hendersons creations !