Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Cold Afternoon (POTD December 7)

As the short, cold, days of December start to settle in, so do the usual winter visitors at the George Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Common visitors at this time of year are, Saw Whet Owls (saw one a few weeks ago), Barred Owls, and Great Horned Owls (none spotted yet this month). Some less common visitors are, Northern Hawk Owls (one was in the area last year), and this year a Snowy Own has been seen (several times). You also have a good chance of seeing Black Crowned Night Herons. Most winters there are three or four Night Herons that stay within the wildlife management area, although I have only seen one or two this year. Generally the Night Herons can bee seen near the trailhead of the area open to the public. Due to their nocturnal nature, the Night Herons are not very active during the day, so you can often observe them for hours and not even see them finch. During the later parts of the afternoon, between 4-5pm (the sanctuary closes to the public at 5PM), then you might have a better chance to see them in action.