2004 Season


THE 2004 season has been a very productive one for our research project and the Barred Owls we are studying. Each year we add new breeding pairs to the study. Some are found when young "branchers" are reported on the ground. Some are found through word of mouth, some by the tried and tested method of searching potential habitat with tape broadcasts of the Barred Owl's territorial call, and this year, for the first time, we found a nest by tracking a young bird we radio tagged in a previous year of the study to its nest.

Our total number of known pairs this year was up to 45, substantially more than have ever been studied in a single breeding season anywhere.

A map of the south Charlotte area where most of our nests are located can be seen by clicking on the "city nests" button on the left of this page.

Of these 45 nests:

32 are in trees, 11 in nest boxes, 2 in chimneys
33 are in suburban habitats, 11 are in nature preserves or rural forests, 1 is in a transitional habitat that's hard to define as rural or suburban.
40 nests were found, 5 were not.
28 are currently successful, 10 failed, 1 required a rescue, and 6 are unknown.

We radio tagged 11 young--two in rural settings and nine in the suburbs. Of these, one of the rural birds is still with us. The other rural bird, born in the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve very close to Carolina Raptor Center,  was hit by a car and died on the other side of Mountain Island Lake. Of the city birds, three were killed by cars, three disappeared, and three have settled down and seem to be doing well. One (from the Bromley nest) has moved to downtown Charlotte, spending time in the 4th Ward and sleeping either where 5th St meets the Belkway or on the other side of town where Freedom Drive meets Morehead. The other Bromley young wandered all over town (maps coming) before settling down a few hundred yards from its nest, in the territory of the Ardsley Rd pair, which lost the female last summer. The Nature Museum young moved around a lot and can now be found regularly just south of the 7th Day Adventist church on Sharon Amity.