[CT Birds] Long-eared Owl Roost, Hartford [1917]

Robert DeCandido PhD rdcny at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 8 07:49:55 EST 2017

What is believed to be an unusual observation was recorded by the 
undersigned on 4 February 1917, in Goodwin Park, in the outskirts of 
this city [Hartford, CT.]. A telephone message in the morning 
communicated the news that what was supposed to be a Long-eared Owl 
had been seen the previous day. This Owl is not at all common here, 
and so we decided to see for ourselves and verify if possible the 
earlier observation.

Soon after arriving near where the bird had been seen, we found under 
a clump of small hemlock trees an estimated quantity of not less than 
four quarts of pellets, many of which will be gathered and sent to 
Washington for inspection. This in itself was something never before 
seen by either of us, notwithstanding one of us has been hunting 
birds for a great many years and has seen so-called 'flights' of Owls 
and many pellet collections.

A few minutes later one of us discovered in an open-topped pine tree, 
not more than twenty-five feet from the ground, a single specimen of 
the Long-eared Owl. Not daring to move for fear the Owl would not be 
seen by us both, the discoverer of the bird did not stir until joined 
by his companion, who, upon being shown where the single Owl was 
roosting, quickly exclaimed, "There are two, yes three, four, five, 
six, seven, good heavens, how many?" Just then the flock rose and we 
counted eight, and another flew out of a tree ten feet away. We were 
so astonished by our find that we almost lost sight of still another 
Owl who had remained behind. To see ten Long-eared Owls, and nine of 
them in a space not more than six feet square in a single tree, is 
something of an experience, even to us who have been field-students 
for upwards of forty and thirty years respectively. We do not find 
evidence in any book record that shows even half this number being 
seen in a single flock in the state of Connecticut. - C. W. Vibert, 
G. T. Griswold (Hartford Bird Study Club), Hartford, Conn.

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