Today we visited the Great Gray Owl nest. While currently empty, with no Great Gray's sighted in the immediate area, we are hopeful they will return to nest here this year. If I were an owl, there is no doubt that this would be my dream home!
The main objective of the visit was to measure the nest. Similar to the cavity nesting owls, Great Gray Owls often use very large, dead, broken-topped trees (snags). However, these owls nest on the top where the tree has broken. Due to the Great Gray's huge size, nest trees have to be large enough to accommodate them. By recording a series of measurements, we should be able to provide forest managers data to preserve and manage for these trees. However, sample sizes must be large enough for meaningful results. We will continue to collect data from these nesting sites in an effort to encourage snag retention efforts in forest management.
Currently, the cam is not live. Explore.org is working hard to resolve a technical issue and get the cam back up and running as soon as possible. The ORI will assist in any way we can. Rest assured, it is a coordinated effort to restore this very popular cam. To view the beautiful highlights from last years cam, visit explore.org or our video page here.
As you can see, it is a long climb up to access these nests! In the middle picture, we put a pencil down to help translate scale.