Deschutes River State Recreation Area

January 19, 2021  •  2 Comments

My search for the Northern Saw-whet Owl (NSWO) at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area ended well because of information provided by a park ranger and then later by two other birders who ultimately spotted the little guy while I was hiking the canyon trails with Remy. But for the text message I received from them, I may have dipped on this species again. According to the park ranger I spoke with, the NSWO has many daily perches it rotates through, so locating it is a hit or miss proposition.  

I couldn't have asked for a nicer day to go birding.  It was clear, cool, and calm when I arrived, and the temperature rose into the 50s by the time I left. 

A couple of bonus encounters included a cooperative Great Horned Owl and a pair of river otters foraging on crayfish near shore.

I learned the difference between the NSWO's alert defensive and relaxed postures during this encounter.  In the second image above the owl was relaxed, in the third image, it tensed in reaction to Remy showing up to check in with me.  The owl immediately calmed and closed its eyes as soon as I removed her from the area.  I share this information to help the uninitiated birder understand when their behavior adversely affects one of these little gems should you have the good fortune to encounter one. 

Great Horned Owl

Don't get between river otter and their food!!

Barrow's Goldeneye Common Goldeneye Great Blue Heron

American White Pelican


https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=29#park-overview

https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=main.loadFile&load=_siteFiles%2Fpublications%2F%2FDeschutes_Brochure_2020%28web%29102033.pdf


Comments

Linnaea Basden(non-registered)
Great photos! We were just there last weekend and found the GHOW (a pair). We found a bunch of white wash and pellets under several trees but we were looking for a LEOW that was there last year, didn't even know the little owl was there.
Priscilla Sokolowski(non-registered)
Gorgeous photos all! The Saw-whet is magnificent. Sooo cute!
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