April 18, 2017

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

Long-eared Owls, sometimes wintering on the Chico, are vole specialists. Although they nest and roost in dense habitats, they hunt in open areas.  Under a big roost it is possible to find hundreds of owl pellets, reguritated remains of dinner.  Long-eared Owls breed in the northern U.S., Canada, and Eurasia north to 65 degrees.  There is one record of a pair of Long-eared Owls nesting on the Chico.  Roosts can be as small as two individuals and as large as 100 birds.  Maybe as many as 14 owls formed the Chico roost this winter but they have now moved north. Interestingly, as soon as the Long-eared Owls left a Barn Owl moved into the vacated territory.  Even though the wintering Long-eared Owls have migrated north, some still may pass through Chico during late April and early May. Bird banding will tell the story.