Enough digging for the morning .
Little bitty transplant project .
Well, for a dead tree, it's pretty handsome. Bet that you can't do it? Not a chance. I've been out there, remember. I see what you can do. Now if you want that sarsparilla, you'll have to collect on the first bet. Where's that tool?
Once I get it moved and some vine or another on it , it should be very nice . Make a very good high perch for raptors like hawks to sit on and scout the area .
I might accessorize it with a " Snoppy " manikin on the top . Remember the peanuts cartoon strip where Snoopy plays a skulking buzzard sitting in the top of a tree .
So I will have a " Snoopy tree " .
Too bad the tree is dead. I just love Iron Wood Trees. We have part of a dead one here too. Nothing grand like yours.
I just showed this to my DH. I wanted to show him that there was someone out there that was crazier than I am.
A lot of work to create a tall bird perch but worth it I think . It looks very natural like its been here for years already . wood is a nice weathered patina some insect bore holes already in it . Get a vine started on it in the spring and it will fit in very well . Soaked the backfill well so the dirt will harden well around the base of it . It is some 4 feet deep , 18 to 20 inches deeper than it was originally so it should anchor well . lot of stubby roots still left on it . I do not anticipate it it ever falling over as I will live . I will get my surveyors tranist rod out tommorrow to measure how tall it stands but I am guessing it it taller than 20 feet . Should make some hawks , vultures and falcons happy .
LOL, skwinter, if only you knew Doug!! That is some project, Doug, and that tree is still beautiful.
~~Should make some hawks , vultures and falcons happy.~~
But is that going to make the little owls UNhappy? Not to mention your little four-footed friends and small birds.
I planted this tree diagonally across the property on the far corner away from the owl habitat so as to not threaten the owls . You have been here Alma , it is close to the mailbox , closer to the street . The owl habitat is away on the far corner . You will remember the area immediately around them is left open and flat so they have a good view for some distance . They are very watchful , little escapes thier attention , when I am out in the yard I have come to recognize thier distress call alerting everyone in the colony of a threat and the just skoot down into thier burrows .
P.S. I doubt the hawks, vultures or falcons would ever nest here , likely too much activity for them . This is simply I anticipate a visitors perch . The owls will likel use it as well . I frequently observe them taking advantage of tall points such as this . The owls stay close to the burrows during most of the day . Hunting at dawn or twilight . The hawls , vultures and falcons prefer broad daylight so I am hoping that there will not be a conflict .
This message was edited Dec 2, 2008 7:28 PM
Hang on.........I gotta go take some Advil just looking at the pictures....................
Top of the smallest branch is about 21 1/2 feet , the medium banches toward the middle top are between 15 and 18 feet . these would have been almost 2 feet higher before it was taken down . I planted the tree about 1 1/2 to 2 feet deeper than it was originally to provide better anchoring as it no longer has all its original roots to hold it in place .
I guess you'll need it after all of the effort to dig that out
Something exciting for me was I was just outside and heard a distintive whooo - whoo type of call by a larger owl . looked up into my new " bird perch " and sure enough there was a larger bird form perched in the upper branches . Too dark to identify correctly but it called again and then flew off through some of the shrubbery emerging out the other side of the property . So dead tree " bird perch " is working as hoped for . I have seen other small birds doves and the like starting to use it in the daytime but I was hoping to attract some larger predator birds with a taller perch and this is the first I have seen use it .
Will larger owls prey on the burrowing owls lonediver? Fingers and toes crossed that the answer is no.
To answer dahlianut , some will , some won't . The raptor group that I have had contact with told me that barn owls will not . That is still yet another project here that i hope will happen by may is to have a nesting pair of barn owls here . I have to call them again and persuade them to get the suggested plans for building a nesting box for those . I intend in putting that in the upper reaches of the garage building with an exterior entrance .
On the plus side , where I got this new dead tree from had other natural burrowing owl nests close by I know from expierience so I do not anticipate the tree ( perchs ) presence here to be too upsetting to the burrowing owls here . This tree was less than 1/2 mile from my property before I moved it .
I do not have anything for nightime photography , so I will have to see if this new creature , whatever it is becomes a regular visitor . It was here just after sundown so I will now be watching for it If it becomes a regular visitor i will see if I can find someone to take some night photos .
Well lonediver I think congraulations are in order. I am glad that it was you undertaking a project like that, I would not have had the patients to do that much digging.
Way to go from the group, ME, in Las Vegas.....Wish you the best.
Burrowing owls live here in New Mexico. In fact, there is a park near roybird's house that is full of them. Thought you would like to know.
They live here too paj ^_^ Very endangered here. Their habitat is extremely protected so you can't see them here like lonediver is showing. You all are very lucky to be able to see them. As a wild bird fan its something I would really like to see in person.
You can see them with binoculars here. Without them, it is hard to distinguish the burrowing owls from the prarie dogs. Our problem is that people keep trying to get rid of the prairie dogs on which they prey.
Thier range is very widespread historically , across much of the Americas . In the U.S. primarily in the west though there are some in the Florida region . Some populations of them are regarded as migratory , some not .
Some of the unusual charecteristics of them is that they are something like the third smallest owl in the world , they nest in soft ground and they are more active in daylight hours . Better for observing . Here are some amusing videos of them done by the state of Washington ;
One of my more rewarding encounters with the resident owls here was this ;
I consistently have a problem with ground squirels around here and have taken to trapping them on ocassion to keep thier numbers under control . Normally the burrowing owls do not hunt these but they are not adverse to a few free snacks . Well one night getting home from work , I checked the traps and found that I had some owl dinners . So I walked out to thier burrows and usually would drop the dinners by some of the entrance holes .
This time though to my surprise ( It was after dark ) there was three little balls of fluff grouped right by one of the entrances . Apparently all the adults were away foraging and the chicks in thier innocence let me come right up to them . I played my flashlight on them , admiring them . I was so close that I could have touched them or picked them up . I resisted wanting to do that not wanting to put human scent on them . But they were so goll dang cute . I must have stayed there 5 to 10 minutes with them looking up at me , asking WHOOO are you , what are you . I left and hurried back to the house to get the wife so she could experience this but on going back a second time . At least one of the adults had returned and on our aproach sounded an alarm call . At which the chicks promptly obeyed and went down into the burrow .
Probably not too likely to have this happen again , one of those rare moments . But it is moments like that , that make the efforts worth it .
They are being considered as a endangered species , one of the primary problems is encroaching development across much of thier native habitat .