My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Everything but Saw-whets Last Night

What an evening!

The goal of my Northern Saw-whet Owl project is catching Saw-whets! But, in order to make that happen . . . . you sometimes have a few obstacles to work around. The video above was the Barred Owl who spent a great deal of the evening vocalizing around the nets. Hello Mr. Barred Owl . . . You are not helping me!! Go fly somewhere else!!

Speakers used to attract Saw-whets (and obviously everything else)

I have been hearing many squeaks in the woods that are very recognizable to me. They are neither songbirds nor are they the squeaks from any owls! But they do come from an animal that flies from tree to tree. The photo below shows one of the flying squirrels that have invaded the area!!   Ugg, Hello Mr. Flying Squirrel . . . You are not helping me!! Go “fly” somewhere else!!

Flying Squirrel
Flying Squirrel

FYI: This little booger was an easy one to get out; I just pulled the pocket open (yep the nets have pockets in them) and out jumped the squirrel! It only chewed a small hole in the net “this time”!! Did you know that the flying squirrel has the softest fur ever?? OK: The Real Truth . . . . After taking its picture . . . . I touched its tail a few times . . . . and then let it go. How many times do you get a chance to touch a wild squirrel’s tail? I just couldn’t help myself!

18 responses

  1. I have a few squirrels I’d like to see tangled up like that!
    Ooops, that’s not very zen-like, is it????

    2 October 2007 at 8:27 pm

  2. I couldn’t get your audio to work. 😦
    Sorry, but those flying squirrels have to be my favorite wild critter. I have never felt such soft fur as the fur of a flyer.

    2 October 2007 at 8:52 pm

  3. I wonder if the Barred Owl is planning on cooking up a little Flying Squirrel Surprise.

    Seriously, I think that is one of the coolest sounds in nature and always a treat when camping or owling.

    2 October 2007 at 9:11 pm

  4. I can remember many mornings walking thru the spring woods and hearing the call of the Barred Owl, and every time he would make that call, it seemed like a dozen or so turkeys would answer in unison.

    Cool shots Tom, they say there a lot of flying squirrels in this area but I have yet to see one.

    2 October 2007 at 9:38 pm

  5. I’m glad it was an interesting evening even without saw=whets. why are you trying to attract them?

    2 October 2007 at 9:40 pm

  6. Tom, I didn’t get the audio, either. That’s OK. I have never seen a flying squirrel. Cool photo! Sorry it put a wrench in your efforts…

    2 October 2007 at 9:50 pm

  7. @ Zen – even though I am not a big squirrel fan, I still hate seeing them like this! Lucky they are able to find their way out (but always chew my trammel lines).
    @ Lynne – Hmm, I wonder why! Wasn’t loud . . . maybe it was the volume.
    @ birdfreak – That would be nice but I don’t think that is their alternative!
    @ Bernie – Thanks and I hear more than I see (flying squirrels)!
    @ Barb – We are trying to band them during migration, you can read more about the project at
    @ Mary – ugg, thanks and the squirrels quickly learn where the nets are and the barred uggg We just learn to live together!

    2 October 2007 at 9:59 pm

  8. oh well I got the sound ok.
    that flying squirrel is just to cute.

    2 October 2007 at 11:05 pm

  9. Fine post with sound as a special treat.

    An interesting fact about flying squirrels is that they are thought to be associated with Epidemic Typhus, caused by Rickettsia prowazeki. Cases have generally been in people who have had some contact with this nocternal squirrel. I do not mean to alarm you, but the connection between this rare disease (in the US) and G. volans is something you should be aware of.

    2 October 2007 at 11:52 pm

  10. @ Toni – I tried two different browsers and had the sound working! Not sure why they couldn’t get it working?
    @ cestoady – thanks and do note that hands are always washed throughly after handling any kind of animal/birds! Thanks for the heads up with this disease though!

    3 October 2007 at 12:13 am

  11. I heard the sound very faintly and turned up all my volume knobs and was able to hear it.

    That squirrel had quite a surprise if he was flying when he hit the net. He looks like he can’t believe he got caught. How cute! And what is cuter is that you just had to touch the tail. hahaha. It looks like quite a soft tail. And he looks so clean.

    3 October 2007 at 12:58 am

  12. How funny to hear his call sound exactly as you quoted!

    That squirrel in the net is a hoot too!

    3 October 2007 at 6:56 am

  13. Washing the hands after handling the birds and squirrels is a wise procedure, especially since birds are notorious carriers of encephalitis viruses,not to mention West Nile.

    BTW,I was able ro hear your recording of the Barred Owl — but I have always wondered : what is it that they are cooking all night ??

    3 October 2007 at 8:15 am

  14. Marg

    LOL at cestoady-mice?

    Everything but hmmm we banded yesterday and caught everything BUT warblers-must be something going around 😀

    3 October 2007 at 8:31 am

  15. I don’t blame you – according to my uncle, who had them living in his attic, they might be just about the cutest little creatures out there. I would want a picture – but I didn’t know about the soft fur.

    Sorry you didn’t get your saw-whets. But I would take barred owls, too – I haven’t seen ANY owls except for Great Horned Owls in years.

    3 October 2007 at 1:15 pm

  16. I hooked my computer up to our two big speakers and I could hear the owl very faintly. Nice sound.

    Beautiful flying squirrel. Of course you touched its tail. When you’re that close, what else could you do?

    3 October 2007 at 7:34 pm

  17. Hi Tom,
    I heard the Barred Owl. They’re the owl I hear most frequently out on the deer stand–early in the morning or at twilight.

    I’ve never seen a flying squirrel…..I don’t think my area is heavily forested enough. Hopefully I will someday.

    3 October 2007 at 8:47 pm

  18. @ Erie – volume is low and wish I could have turned it up more when I edited it (was up all the way)! Its what I deal with and I was careful not to get bitten.
    @ Jayne – that was nice of the barred to call like it should!
    @ cestoady – I always try to promote that with everyone that comes to the banding station. Regarding your question, I hope its Flying Squirrels!
    @ Marg – warblers have really pushed through early this week!
    @ marty – 3 years ago I live trapped 10 flying squirrels in my attic in like 3 nights. They went for a mini car ride, so I know they were not the same squirrels! Once I believe they were all out, I closed up the holes they were getting in from.
    @ robin – Hmm, I wonder why some are not as loud as others! Well, I really shouldn’t have and probably should have published that I did it! But, like you said, how couldn’t I?
    @ Ruthie – thanks and love hearing them during the summer (but not during the fall months)! They are very secretive and I would have to believe just maybe they are in your area?

    3 October 2007 at 9:21 pm

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