Long-eared Owls, sometimes wintering on the Chico, are vole specialists. Although they nest and roost in dense habitats, they hunt in open areas. Under a big roost it is possible to find hundreds of owl pellets, reguritated remains of dinner. Long-eared Owls breed in the northern U.S., Canada, and Eurasia north to 65 degrees. There is one record of a pair of Long-eared Owls nesting on the Chico. Roosts can be as small as two individuals and as large as 100 birds. Maybe as many as 14 owls formed the Chico roost this winter but they have now moved north. Interestingly, as soon as the Long-eared Owls left a Barn Owl moved into the vacated territory. Even though the wintering Long-eared Owls have migrated north, some still may pass through Chico during late April and early May. Bird banding will tell the story.

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