I've decided that a good portion of my cameras will be used for owl surveys in Loudoun and Fairfax counties this fall and winter. I figured it would be a good idea to take some of the cameras out of the fields that get hunted the most so as to decrease the risk of cameras being disturbed by hunters. Some cameras will now be placed in buildings.
Barred owls sometimes show up on my cameras by chance, but the new goal for the next few months is to photograph barn owls, screech owls, and great horned owls as well.
Along with volunteers and co-workers, I will map out abandoned buildings and other places where owls are commonly found. We'll be looking in barns, silos, and hollow trees for owl pellets, owl feathers, and signs of small mammals. Small mammals are a favorite food of all Virginia owls, so finding out where they are located will help us locate the owls.
At least 6 cameras will be used for this owl survey, but I may consider using even more. Don't worry though mammal lovers, there will still be a healthy population of my cameras out in the woods still during the coldest months.
For the next few weeks though, the cameras will still be out in the fields and woods of Virginia until I start the owl projects. With nuts falling from the trees these days, who knows what will come up on the cameras next?