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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds
Thread started 09 Mar 2017 (Thursday) 16:26
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One last Leque Island owl...

 
squirl033
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Joined Aug 2006
Everett, WA
Mar 09, 2017 16:26 |  #1

The location where this was taken will be undergoing major changes this year and next, and it's questionable whether the owls will return next winter. The state department of fish and wildlife, which manages the site, has elected to breach the levees that keep this meadow relatively dry, and allow it to return to a tidal salt marsh. The levees were built in the 1930s and have been leaking and slowly failing for the last 10 years or so, and the state has apparently decided it's cheaper to breach them and let the meadow flood than to repair the levees and preserve this habitat. The local tribes have supported the idea, claiming the change will help local salmon (the "salmon card" trumps everything else, it seems), though I don't know of any salmon species that lives or spawns in salt marshes... In any case, the state plans to bring in heavy equipment this summer to dig some "tidal channels"; in the process, the habitat for the meadow voles which the owls feed on will be severely damaged or destroyed. As a result, the owls may only return in limited numbers next winter, or they may not bother at all. The summer after this one - 2018 - the WDFW will breach the levees, and the entire area will be flooded at high tide, exposing only mud flats and salt water vegetation at low tide. Safe bet the owls will not return at all after that. With those changes in mind, here's one last portrait of one of the Leque Island short-eared owls...

IMAGE: http://i812.photobucket.com/albums/zz47/squirl035/IMG_6783%20vert%20sm.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://s812.photobucke​t.com ...6783%20vert%20sm.jp​g.html] (external link)

Rocky ~
"Out where the rivers like to run, I stand alone, and take back something worth remembering..."
~ Three Dog Night
www.northwestnaturalim​agery.comexternal link

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txcanon
Goldmember
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Joined Feb 2008
Kerrville, Texas
Mar 10, 2017 01:21 |  #2

Excellent shot and beautiful Owl Rocky! Hope everything works out for the good.


Brad
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dm1215al
Senior Member
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Joined Nov 2016
Riverview, FL USA
Mar 10, 2017 03:47 |  #3

Nice photo Rocky and thanks for posting the story with it.




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Wallace ­ River
" ...a bit of a pervy voyeur "
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Joined Jul 2010
Wallace, Nova Scotia
Mar 11, 2017 06:09 |  #4

That's a beaut Rocky. Perfect light!


IAN - Living life on the shores of the Wallace River in northern Nova Scotia, Canada :
Canon 1D4, 1D-X, almost enough glass.
My Flickr (external link). http://ianmurray.zenfo​lio.com/ (external link)

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Lycomech96
Member
Joined Jul 2009
Williamsport. Lycoming County
Mar 12, 2017 22:51 |  #5

squirl033 wrote in post #18296683 (external link)
The location where this was taken will be undergoing major changes this year and next, and it's questionable whether the owls will return next winter. The state department of fish and wildlife, which manages the site, has elected to breach the levees that keep this meadow relatively dry, and allow it to return to a tidal salt marsh. The levees were built in the 1930s and have been leaking and slowly failing for the last 10 years or so, and the state has apparently decided it's cheaper to breach them and let the meadow flood than to repair the levees and preserve this habitat. The local tribes have supported the idea, claiming the change will help local salmon (the "salmon card" trumps everything else, it seems), though I don't know of any salmon species that lives or spawns in salt marshes... In any case, the state plans to bring in heavy equipment this summer to dig some "tidal channels"; in the process, the habitat for the meadow voles which the owls feed on will be severely damaged or destroyed. As a result, the owls may only return in limited numbers next winter, or they may not bother at all. The summer after this one - 2018 - the WDFW will breach the levees, and the entire area will be flooded at high tide, exposing only mud flats and salt water vegetation at low tide. Safe bet the owls will not return at all after that. With those changes in mind, here's one last portrait of one of the Leque Island short-eared owls...

QUOTED IMAGE
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://s812.photobucke​t.com ...6783%20vert%20sm.jp​g.html] (external link)

the Audubon Society or Sierra Club ought to file a class action lawsuit. Is it on this list? http://rainforests.mon​gabay.com ...ed/charts/birds-owls.html (external link)




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Beekeeper
Goldmember
Joined May 2010
Dayton, Ohio, United States
Mar 12, 2017 23:16 as a reply to Lycomech96's post |  #6

Short-eared owls and Northern harriers aren't uncommon, and both prefer to hunt open grassy/marshy areas. In this case with the tides there won't be any voles for the owls, but this sounds like it will turn into good shorebird habitat--something we are losing all the time.


Zach--C&C is welcome on my photos
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/46367607@N06/ (external link)
7DI Body Gripped|7DII Gripped|EF 85mm1.8|EF 50mm1.4|EF 100mm2.8L IS Macro|EF-S 10-22mm|EF 400mm5.6L|430EXII|580E​XII

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SJC ­ from ­ VT
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Feb 2009
USA/Northeast
Mar 13, 2017 09:34 |  #7

Beautiful photo, and quite the story too! Hopefully everything works out in this situation.


*Sandy* "If we all had positive attitudes...we could change the world"
7D ll and 60D plus some other stuff! My Flickr http://flic.kr/ps/FEPL​p (external link)

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ardeekay
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Feb 2010
Peoria, Il. and Port Aransas, Tx
Mar 13, 2017 18:21 |  #8

Print, hang and have the memories, Rocky. :-(


Rog
Gear:7Dll 7D 40D 24-105 4L, 70-200 4L, 300 4L IS, 85 1.8, 1.4 TC, Tamron18-270VC, Sigma 150-600 OS 430EX II

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squirl033
THREAD ­ STARTER
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Joined Aug 2006
Everett, WA
Mar 14, 2017 00:45 as a reply to ardeekay's post |  #9

Thanks, everyone! I suspect in the end, all will work out okay. The owls will simply move a bit north, and the salt marsh will eventually attract shorebirds, though there won't be much of any way to watch or photograph them unless from a kayak. The biggest "loss" in this whole thing is that people will no longer be able to view and photograph these owls in such a convenient and accessible location -which may not be a bad thing. It was getting pretty crowded there this winter, though at least some of that was due to the fact that folks knew they might not have another chance to see the owls there again... Meanwhile, I have several years' worth of images, so it's not like I've missed out. And I'll likely be moving out of this area this summer anyway, so whatever happens to this location won't really matter to me one way or the other.


Rocky ~
"Out where the rivers like to run, I stand alone, and take back something worth remembering..."
~ Three Dog Night
www.northwestnaturalim​agery.comexternal link

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CaptBob
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Jul 2011
Plantation Fl
Mar 14, 2017 12:07 |  #10

nice one Rocky


1DS,1Dmk4,1DXmk2,500 F4 IS mk1,100-400 mk2,IS,24-105 F4L, canon 1.4xmk3, 2xmk3

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One last Leque Island owl...
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