[CT Birds] Naugatuck possible* Great Gray Owl report

julian hough jrhough1 at snet.net
Mon Feb 4 09:29:33 EST 2013

A friend of mine, who has an interest in birds, called me to tell me that they 
saw what he believes to be a Great Gray Owl at Hop Brook Lake in Naugatuck on 
Saturday Feb 4 at 4pm. He and his daughter had good views of the bird at close 
range with binoculars. The description sounded very genuine and convincing and 
the habitat is very suitable for Great Gray. Several of us checked it out on 
Sunday but only saw a Barred Owl in the same area. The person who reported it 
saw the Barred Owl and was adamant it was nothing like the other bird which was 
"grey, with a big, dinner plate head and had pale eyes".

A dog walker independently asked one of us if we were looking for the big owl 
that had been around for over a week…whether this pertained to a Barred Owl or 
something else is unknown - owls look big to most non-birders that have no 
context but the fact that other people have noticed a bird is intriguing. Barred 
owls seem to be around in numbers and are hunting during the day so it is likely 
that they be more obvious.

I am putting this out there so that anyone in the area that might want to stop 
by and check it out during the week can do so.

Directions: From 84 west, take Exit 17. At the end of the ramp, take a left on 
RT#63 towards Naugatuck. You will pass Maggie McFly's restaurant on your right, 
then Maples diner before coming to a light. This is the junction with Rt#188.
Take a left here and park in the parking lot for Hop Brook Dam/Lake. Continue on 
foot down the paved path, past the ticket booth to the obvious lot on the left 
that overlooks a swmapy area with lots of dead trees.  To the left is an 
observation platform which is the best spot to look from. The bird was initially 
seen in trees to the right as you walk towards the observation platform. 

Good luck and please post if you see anything..

 Julian Hough
New Haven, CT 06519

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