My wife and I are both owl and bird of prey lovers. We take every opportunity to meet them, both in the wild and through workshops with falconers. That’s why we have already focused on these birds and created the owls project and the birds of prey project. This year we are launching another edition, Project Owls 2023.
Project Owls 2020 – 2022
In the past years we have mainly tried to study owls, both theoretically and occasionally going out into the field to look for owls. The first owl we found in the wild was a Long-eared owl (Asio otus). It was a chance encounter at the time, but it made us realize that studying behavior, resident signs, and more just pays off. We found the Long-eared owl (Asio otus) because of its behavioural signs, specifically its spurs.
An ejecta is the indigestible food residue of some birds, especially birds of prey, which takes the form of a cylinder. It resembles droppings, but the birds regurgitate it through their mouths. The excrement contains mainly bones, feathers, hair, insect skin, etc. The acids in the stomachs of these birds cannot digest this waste, so the body disposes of it in this way. It is mainly owls and birds of prey, but also some other species, such as kingfishers. Ejections are found wherever the bird lives or nests. By their shape and content, for example small bones, the species of raptor or owl can be identified and the composition of its food can also be inferred.
Thanks to the study, we were lucky enough to see other owls. The second species we managed to see in the wild was the common Tawny owl (Strix aluco). We went to the Brda forests to see it. We spotted it at dusk, again basically by chance, when I was photographing the sunset and we had no thought of meeting owls. Since then we’ve seen a Tawny owl (Strix aluco) several times, one even echoing near our apartment.
The third owl observed was a Little owl (Athene noctua). It was probably the most difficult to find and observe so far. We have seen it only once and we have not been lucky enough to see it again even on a repeat visit to the site. We are also sorry to see this because it unfortunately confirms the trend that found the decline of these owls in our area. The fourth owl for the watch list was the Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). In my home region of East Bohemia, we went to a site where the owls were reported to be present. It was a success. First we watched a Tawny owl (Strix aluco) and then heard the call of a Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). We didn’t physically see it, but just listening to it made us happy.
Owl Project 2023
We continue our hobby. We keep trying to study and learn about these beautiful birds. We work with falconers and visit parks and zoos. We also go into the field and have more or less success. And we try to spread our discoveries further, especially through photos and short articles here on the website and on social media.
Right at the beginning of 2023, we managed to discover a den of earwigs where 24 individuals of this species were sitting side by side in two trees. A wonderful experience. During January I also attended a workshop where I had the opportunity to photograph the Siberian eagle-owl, Long-eared owl, Tawny owl, and etc.
LATEST OWL PHOTOS
WEB CONTENT RELATED TO THE PROJECT
Blog articles related to the project HERE. (Only in czech language)
OWLS 2020-22 project page HERE.