This past week instead of searching for curlew nests, my coworker Oly Olson and I went to southeastern Idaho to begin the first week of surveys for Flammulated Owls. Anna stayed behind to keep an eye on the curlews and search for nests. Oly and I visited some really amazing places and this week of traveling around southeast Idaho really introduced me to some more amazing areas of the state. Unfortunately, we didnt encounter any Flammulated Owls during our surveys but we did hear Great Horned Owls on two of the nights and one night we heard a Wilson’s Snipe nearby as well as a flock of Gadwall migrating over. Hopefully future weeks of of surveys will turn up a lot of Flammulated Owls in addition to other nocturnal species like Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Common Poorwill.
Our surveys are at night obviously, on National Forest land. There are a bunch of randomly-selected sites, each containing four points we have to visit and play a call of a Flammulated Owl (FLOW) in order to try to coax a nearby FLOW to respond. There are also about 200 road points that we have to visit, which are just like the sets of four points except they are single points randomly placed out on roads that are able to be driven on throughout the National Forest land. During the day, before we go out for surveys, Oly and I would go around to nearby habitats and search for birds. It was a very productive week and I was able to add 8 species to my Idaho state list! These new species were Black-throated Gray Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, American Bittern (heard only), Black-crowned Night-heron, White-faced Ibis, Snowy Egret, and Red-necked Grebe. Below are a few photos that I took during the week!