This week’s photo, taken May 3, 2014 in Seattle, WA, features a BARRED OWL, a bird of controversy here in the Northwest.
Biologists have determined that the Barred Owl is having a negative impact on the threatened Spotted Owl, and some studies have shown that where the Barred Owl is expanding its territory, Spotted Owl numbers are dropping. So, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to thin the population of the Barred Owl in certain forests of Northern California, Oregon and Washington, hoping that fewer Barred Owls will result in more Spotted Owls. In other words, they are killing one owl to save another.
For more information on this topic, go to: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/15/262735123/to-save-threatened-owl-another-species-is-shot
For most of us, when we see an owl, it’s an incredible experience that we remember for a long time. (I think that I vividly recall nearly ALL of my owl sightings). Perhaps it’s such a memorable moment for us because owls are such secretive, mysterious creatures, and we simply don’t feel worthy of entering their world.
I am not sure what’s the best way to deal with the decline of the Spotted Owl. But I do know one thing. I will not be calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to tell them where I photographed a Barred Owl last weekend.
To view Joe’s Best Bird Photos, go to: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com