Thursday, April 13, 2017


One of the days of Spring Break was National Read a Roadmap Day, April 5.  Jeremy signed up to participate in a study/survey of short-eared owls so we all got to go with him that day.
The survey is known as "Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study" or "WAFLS."  It is to help track short-eared owl populations in a few different states.  We were given an area.  We made a route to follow roads in that area and made several stops to get out and look around for short-eared owls.  We did use our handy dandy road map printed off the computer for the survey.  It was great to celebrate the holiday that way.
Before we started the survey, we drove the route backward to write down habitats for each of our stops- grassland or agricultural area, things like that.  Then we stopped at our starting point to let everyone out to run around for a little while and gather our on-the-road dinner from the cooler and bags in the trunk. 
It would be too hard to get everyone out at each stop, so the kids stayed in the van reading books in a silly manner to each other and eating their food and snacks.  Jeremy and I stepped just outside the van so we could look around.  We took turns with the clipboard and with the binoculars and camera at each area.

At our second to last stop, Jeremy did see a short-eared owl but just through the binoculars.  We weren't able to get any pictures of it.  Then another bird flew across the road and away from us, but we weren't able to identify it.  It may have been a short-eared owl, but it could have been something else.  Oh well.  We saw plenty of other birds, though.

Before we left home for the WAFLS survey, Jeremy made waffles for us and had each of us in the family fill out our own Waffles Survey.
click on it to see it larger
Jeremy saw a short-eared owl, we saw lots of ground squirrels, but no short-eared owls eating ground squirrels nor ground squirrels eating waffles nor short-eared owls eating ground squirrels in the process of eating waffles.
When Jeremy mentioned that we ate waffles before heading out and that he did see a short-eared owl, the project leader in our area told everyone to eat waffles before they go out again to improve their mojo.  There weren't a lot of short-eared owls to be found in Utah the first time around.
WAFLS requires us to go out again through the same route on a different day to see if there are any differences.  We'll be eating waffles again before we go out.  I still want to see a definite short-eared owl.

On a different note, the next day, April 6, was the anniversary of the invention of the Twinkie.  The kids went over to the home of friends and their mom, my good friend, had bought Twinkies for them to have to celebrate.

No comments:

Post a Comment