Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Re: OWL news Victoria
PostPosted: Jan 13 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Oct 20 9:44 pm
Posts: 1197
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Hi kip,
yes, I love your shot. that's Angel, the male heir apparent. He has been granted Beacon Hill Park. we see him around the Bandstand. His brother, rascal Pete, is at Holland Point and the sister Mystery was taken to a new territory by Dad in October. Mom & Dad Barred are still in the SEW, so they'll probably have another batch of owlets late March or early April 2017.
Look forward to seeing you although not much is happening in the woods other than trees falling down. A pine snapped, a rotted chickadee nest tree collapsed. Bartlett Tree Cutters have been in there doing some trimming, particularly the Maple that hangs over the Recycle shed.
Happy owling! C.


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 Post subject: Re: OWL news Victoria
PostPosted: Feb 01 4:18 am 
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Joined: Oct 20 9:44 pm
Posts: 1197
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Jan 31, 2017 Victoria has a pair of Short-eared Owls.


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 Post subject: Re: OWL news Victoria
PostPosted: Apr 02 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Apr 02 2:30 am
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Walking along the highway after midnight. Just after Vanalman there was an owl flying back and forth across the road. Not sure the species despite it trying to decapitate me witha wing as my glasses were broke and I only saw from underneath. Too big to be any of the smaller species. Watched it for about an hour before it moved on but it's been seen up to the royal oak exit by some of the other people I've talked to. At least we think it's the same one, lots of roadkill in that area because of the rabbits so it may be just be young and not having much luck in the hunting department.

There's also a GHO that if you go at the right time you can get within a few feet of its perch. If you take the trail into the woods next to the Ashton Armoury (Vanalman street), follow it down the hill and across the little bridge over the stream. Eventually you get to where the trail splits. If you listen you can usually hear him at this point as he can be quite vocal and it's a nice way to know if he's there before trying to get through the underbrush. You can either go back, go right and eventually reach glanford, or go left. Go left. If you head directly for the stream and where you see the trees have thinned considerably (there's less underbrush too) and walk beside the stream with the water to your right you eventually get to a fallen tree (the path sorta zig zags away from the water at points but by then it's quite clearly a game trail). Walk on top of the fallen tree until you reach the end and plonk yourself down. You should be in a little clearing with a big fallen tree in the middle. If you sit on the tree facing where the main trail is (so your feet are dangling over the same side not straddling it) look up and to your right (usually) there's a great big bird there. From anywhere else on the trails you can't see him (but he can certainly see you). He doesn't seem to care if there are humans about so long as they don't scare prey away. Some nights he's way up on a branch and others he's almost within reach he's so close. He ignores people. There's no distress calls but once you leave the main trail he usually stops making noise if he was before. Best time I've found is either just before dark or just after. He will sometimes hunt the nearby park (go back to the main trail and follow across the bridge) or he'll be way way down the trail where there's another bridge and an uprooted tree is this weird swampy wetland/forest/small field area near a road though I don't know which road it is(sorry). Lots of mice over there and the occasional rabbit.

Daylight hours you can find an assortment of peckers and the occasional hawk or falcon at the park.

Also, if anybody knows what bird these were please tell me because I find it incredibly odd. I was walking across the bridge heading into the woods when I heard a racket. So me being me I followed it and got the scare of my life when a rabbit ran across and got pounced on by a bird roughly the size of a peregrine, similar colouring. That wouldn't have been much since it happens all the time there. Except when the bird took off (without prey, presumably because it felt I was too close to eat the rabbit with me watching) I followed its flight up into the trees. It was definitely a bird of prey though not one I recognize. Yet there were about a dozen of these birds sitting in the trees making an ear-splitting amount of noise quite clearly visible. Now from what I gather from working at the raptor centre birds of prey are generally solitary though you might see pairs (particularly in mating season). I'm just wondering if there's a species that either migrates in groups or lives in groups. I only saw them the one day and never again.


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 Post subject: Re: OWL news Victoria
PostPosted: May 20 6:28 pm 
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Anybody have any updates on owl sightings around Vic? I have been going out to many of the places mentioned so far at various times of day/evening and can't seem to find any. I've been to Beacon Hill Park (southeast woods and field by the petting zoo), Pemberton Park, Kings Pond, Clover Point, Holland Park as well as the Vanalman woods site last mentioned. I've gone a few times to some of these places. I know many of these were mentioned a long time ago and I can't necessarily expect them to still be there of course, but I figured they'd be my best options.

I've been to the Vanalman site mentioned by AkaiKitsune but get lost part way through. What I can't seem to find is the fallen tree. I am able to follow the zig zag trail with the creek on my right and I do reach a clearing, but no fallen tree in the middle. There appears to be a fallen tree just a little bit further into the trail but I certainly can't walk along it to the end with all of the overgrown bush. I am wondering if I am misunderstanding the directions. Is there a garbage bin and plastic ottoman in this clearing? I also checked out the rest of the woods but couldn't find it. I was excited to see a massive bird perch up in a tree but it turned out to just be a heron (still awesome, just a lot more common).

Secondly, I used to visit the family of barred owls that lived in the SE woods of Beacon Hill Park all of last summer. I heard that they're back but can't seem to find them. Any particular tree? And any particular tree at the other locations in which owls have recently been spotted?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :D


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