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Re: recording owl vocalizations

Subject: Re: recording owl vocalizations
From: "wahpenayo" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 03:11:01 -0000
I apologize for causing the rhubarb. I do not advocate the use of
playback to record birdsong. I'm recording as an opportunity only
resulting from work I'm already doing. I appreciate the concerns
expressed for the owls. I try to tread as lightly as possible, and
usually call any one owl pair no more than once or twice in a year's
time. I don't believe that is harmful, but recognize there is
legitimate argument both ways. I've argued with myself many times
over it.

Spotted owls here have continued to decline, even with no further
logging of habitat, possibly resulting from the influx of barred
owls, a non-native species to the pacific northwest. While I would
like to employ a non-invasive method as Rob suggests, there are just
too many owls of both species to do so, and it would be only
partially effective given the size of a spotted owl's area of

Without the research, spotted owls would have been gone from this
area by now. Their habitat would have been logged. Imitating calls to
gain a response from an owl could have a negative effect (but who is
not just guessing on this?) but removing their habitat certainly
does. Now, with the barred owl, there are many who are saying that it
is a lost cause, that barred owls will eliminate spotted owls, so
it's okay to log all the older forest, and who cares about the other
species that may be lost. There is a very real possibility this could

Results from my work show that there are areas that appear to be
resistant to barred owl occupation. Yet nany of these areas have no
protection from habitat removal. I am therefore working to get these
areas protected so that the spotted owl may (hopefully) continue to
be a resident species in SW Washington.

I can understand why a recordist would be concerned about the use of
playback. If there are better, non-invasive methods that could be
effectively employed, we would all be highly interested. Again, I do
not advocate the use of playback to record birdsong.

Rich, hybrids do not appear to be a problem. Their occurance is
pretty rare, possibly due to initial colonization of an area by
barred owls where barred owl mates are scarce. It is unlikely that a
barred owl differentiates a spotted owl call from a barred owl call
like we do, more likely that it recognizes a STRIX call. But where
did you get the idea that the purpose is to advocate clearcutting
forest? That is the exact opposite of what I believe.

Bob Pearson

Packwood, WA

--- In  Rob Danielson <>
> I agree. Tricking an animal to  respond to a recording is pointless
> and, really, sort of depressing if its done in the name of welfare.
> What is that one _can't_  learn about the local owl population by
> running a HiMD recorder for several nights?  If they aren't calling
> in the middle of mating season, their calls are probably destined
> fade.  You can also learn more about the stresses they are
> encountering. Rob D.
>   =3D =3D =3D
> At 8:37 AM -0700 6/27/05, Martyn Stewart wrote:
> >I couldn't agree with you more but what can you do? In my
welcoming letter I
> >cautioned the use of playback but I feel most times this falls on
deaf ears.
> >I get hundreds of requests for sounds each week from my website
and I ask
> >each and every one of them "what's it for?" I do not give out
sounds for
> >photographers and hunters, I do not believe in call back as a tool
in this
> >way.
> >Trouble is, you and I are a small voice in the wind, thousands of
> >are now available and birders generally only care about increasing
> >life lists to the detriment of the bird.
> >I have thousands of bird sounds recorded all over the world and I
have NEVER
> >used call back to attract them.
> >What is the simple answer beside education?
> >
> >Martyn
> >
> >Martyn Stewart
> >Bird and Animal Sounds Digitally Recorded at:
> >
> >
> >N47.65543   W121.98428
> >Redmond. Washington. USA
> >Make every Garden a wildlife Habitat!
> >
> >425-898-0462
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: 
> > On Behalf Of Rich Peet
> >Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 7:28 AM
> >To: 
> >Subject: Re: [Nature Recordists] recording owl vocalizations
> >
> >--- In  "wahpenayo"
> >wrote:
> >
> >>  I am calling the owls in by imitating their calls. They are
> >>  to me as an intruder in their territory, or as a nearby
> >>  owl. It's part of an experiment I'm conducting to compare
barred owl
> >>  responsiveness to barred owl calls vs. spotted owl calls. It's a
> >>  small slice of the huge research effort ongoing for spotted
> >>
> >>  I'm keeping track of how long it takes them to respond, what
> >>  they use, the duration of their response, etc. If I record it, I
> >>  don't have to madly try to write everything down.
> >>
> >
> >Doesn't someone else here see a problem in using playback of an
> >endangered species sound to a competitor species that has been
> >identified causing a hybrid problem.
> >
> >These owls are already being over surveyed by too many groups with
> >use of playback and are already being over banded by the use of
> >playback.  Is there one oldgrowth area anywhere where these owls
> >being left alone?  Can't get my support to teach more barred owls
> >the spotted owl calls are a usual sound.  Can't get my support to
> >use playback on an endangered species for the purpose of advocating
> >continued clearcut of forrests.  This sure looks like way to much
of a
> >risk of ending up with a pile more "Barred X Spotted" Owls.
> >
> >Rich
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >"Microphones are not ears,
> >Loudspeakers are not birds,
> >A listening room is not nature."
> >Klas Strandberg
> >Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >"Microphones are not ears,
> >Loudspeakers are not birds,
> >A listening room is not nature."
> >Klas Strandberg
> >Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Rob Danielson
> Film Department
> University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


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