On a lovely Sunday afternoon, Chuck Henrikson and 35 birding enthusiasts gathered to learn about and spot some feathered friends in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.
Chuck first talked about owls and their diets. Owls eat rodents and other small birds. Some animal matter— like bones and hair— are not digested by the owls, so they regurgitate this in the form of a pellet! Chuck showed attendees intact pellets, as well as the individual bones taken from other owl pellets he had found. Interestingly, Chuck mentioned that the size of the pellets varies across owl species and is correlated to the size of the owl (so Barred Owls tend to make larger pellets than Eastern Screech Owls for example). Chuck also showed attendees some feathers from Wisconsin birds and discussed properties of these feathers (like how some bird species have wing feathers that are frayed on the edge to allow birds to travel silently through the air).
Throughout the field trip, seven bird species were spotted: Hairy Woodpeckers (2 males), Downy Woodpeckers (1 male, 1 female), Herring Gulls (2), White-breasted Nuthatches (2), Black-capped Chickadees (3), Northern Cardinal (1), and a beloved Barred Owl (1)! Chuck also informed attendees about resources like eBird where you can upload your birding lists and contribute to citizen science efforts to track bird species’ temporal movements in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, Wisconsin, and beyond! Report and photos by the Friends host Olympia Mathiaparanam
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