Besides seabirds, other feathered friends on the Farallons include a small little owl that lives in crevices.. and if you know me, you know I just about go crazy for owls. So not surprisingly I was rolling over in excitement whenever I saw one of them (and sustained a few nettle stings on my bum).
That’s a burrowing owl! This one was not more than 6 inches in height. They migrate here for a little bit to feast on a threatened seabird called the Ashy Storm Petrel. Yesterday we went out to known owl roosts to spot them. There are about 4-6 living on the island now. And today we were out looking for dead storm petrels to estimate owl predation. And did we find the motherload! A previously unknown roost, and 19 storm petrel wings. The owls consume just abou everything else, leaving the wings behind. Whenever we find a wing, we give it a sniff to detect the musty odor of a storm petrel, and then stuff it in our pocket for the storm petrel bucket. yeah it’s pretty rank in there. (our pocket and bucket).
Those things got hammered! I managed to crawl into the roost to get the last few wings (finally a job that the small person can manage! Carry groceries? Noo, move the dumper jet? Noooo. crawl into owl roosts? Hell yes!)