via Google Images
Great Horned Owls have been heard hooting almost every evening for the past month around the White Memorial Main Area. Their territorial activity has been centered along the Interpretive Trail behind Pike Marsh, but they have also been heard hooting from the trees right in front of and behind the Museum and from Pine Grove 2. Right now I can hear them hooting from the Interpretive Trail. Another pair can often be heard answering them from the Pine Island Complex to the north. Recently these local owls have also become more visible. A little while ago the Interpretive Trail pair was seen perched in White Pine trees at the intersection of the White Hall Rd. driveways about 500' east of the Interpretive Trail. Yesterday they were seen perched in the White Pine trees at Pine Grove 2. One of them flew towards the Museum. In past years when these birds made themselves more visible it meant that nesting was imminent. They will usually find an old crow or hawk nest; preferably in a White Pine tree. It can be amazingly close to human activity, and can be amazingly well-hidden. They will also occasionally nest in the top of a broken off "chimney" tree, or in a large cavity in a tree. The Interpretive Trail pair has most often been found using an old crow nest at least 30' up in a thick, live White Pine tree. They are most active and vocal between 5 and 6 p.m. If you come out to look for them please do not disturb them with tape playback of their calls, and please don't approach them. Sometimes they seem tolerant of humans, but they can be disturbed rather easily. They also have been known to attack humans that approach a nest tree too closely. Please email us a report if you encounter these birds.