April 24, 2016

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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 //

In the U.S. the best known owl is Barn Owl, probably because of its heart-shaped face and they can often be found nesting in old barns with a large opening.  They are not considered a true owl, like the other Chico owls, taxonomically different in having the inner toe the same length as the middle toe, a character found in 16 other owls in the genus Tyto in the world.  Barn Owls are nocturnal, hunting in open grasslands but they roost or nest in tree cavities and sometimes they are seen flying away during daylight hours (photo).  Young begging sounds, sounds like snoring, can be heard near a nest cavity or barn for hours at a time during evening hours.  Barn Owls on Chico are resident whereas some populations in Europe or Asia are migratory.  Resident Barn Owls in some countries sometimes starve in mass during harsh winters.

Photography by Bill Maynard