Owl Migration at Braddock Bay
Aptly named “The Owl Woods” the area to the northwest of Braddock Bay, also known as Rose’s Marsh, serves as important habitat for the tiny Northern Saw-whet, the crow-sized Long-eared Owl, and on the rarest of occasions even the Boreal Owl. Others may include the non-migratory Great Horned Owl and common Eastern Screech Owl. Included in the Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area, the “Owl Woods” is part of a 2,125 acre complex managed by the NYSDEC. Also designated as a Bird Conservation Area, this site is well known as part of an important migration corridor. Roosting sites, nesting areas and foraging sites are all available here in the wildlife management area. Owls are most likely to be seen from March through April.
BBRR’s Owl Roost Survey
Each spring, beginning in mid-late February, a team of volunteers carefully survey the Owl Woods for roosting owls. The purpose of the survey is to monitor the presence of the owls, and the habitat use of the area. Surveyors follow a strict protocol to ensure minimal disturbance to the owls on their roost sites. Information gathered from these surveys help guide the wildlife management plan in the area, and also ensure that this important stop-over habitat is preserved.
While the area is open to pubic use, BBRR suggests certain guidelines are followed when searching for owls to help reduce their stress and to preserve the site for future use (see image at right). Joining one of BBRR’s Saturday morning Owl Prowls in the spring is a great way to learn how to respectfully view these fascinating nocturnal raptors.
Photos shown below are courtesy of Jim Adams.