Daily Observations

Gavan Hill at Sunset

The snow’s been deep and I’ve been fighting a cold, so I have not spent too much time outside the last couple of days, though Thursday night I did get the chance to tag along looking for screech owls.

Weather: The forecast has continually called for rain and snow, but we’ve just been getting snow here. It’s now over a foot deep in the open areas. Temperatures have been in the lower 30s.

Birds: I noticed some Pine Siskins in the alders behind our house on Friday. Thursday morning I saw Dark-eyed Juncos foraging in the alders down near the hatchery. With the deep snow, I’m guessing it’s pretty difficult for ground feeders to find much to eat.

Thursday night I went with Michelle Kissling and Steve Lewis, biologists from Juneau, to watch their efforts to catch an owl (a local high school student is planning to study owls for his senior project). We saw at least two of them, and they were successful getting one. Students told me they often see owls near the flume by Rasmusson around 10pm.

Today I noticed some feathers floating down in the backyard, so I went outside to investigate. As best I could tell, they were screech owl feathers. I saw a raven with something up in the trees between our house and the maintanence building. I think the Raven probably had a wing, though I don’t know that the raven actually did the killing. I’ll try to find out for sure if the feathers are from a screech owl.

Other Notes: There was a hole with melted snow around near the top of the hill beside Hillcrest Drive immediately behind the Maintenance building. I am guessing a squirrel is down in the hole, though I did not notice tracks going to and from it. Maybe there is another entrance. It’s also possible that the ground is warmer than freezing, so relatively warm air was venting and melting the snow.

Wednesday night when I was out sledding with Connor and Rowan, I saw a moth flying around. It seemed a little late (and chilly) for that, but someone else mentioned seeing quite a few moths in the last few days, so I guess this wasn’t the only one.

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