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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: May 4, 2008

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Of Mice and Owls

As I mentioned in prior posts, Spring in the Adirondacks is a noisy time. However, one of the neatest sounds I haven't heard at all yet this Spring is the call of the Barred Owl. In years past, with the windows open overnight I can listen to the Barred Owls hooting up a storm in the woods surrounding the homestead. It sounds like they are saying, "Who cooks for you?" Unfortunately, this year, no one is cooking for them. There is a severe shortage of rodents, which is the owl's favorite meal. Generally, owls hang out in the trees, peering down, ears tuned in, and wait for the scurrying mice and voles to show themselves or make noise under the leaves and snow. But, due to over-population and a tough winter and food shortages, there are less rodents. The rodents reproduced themselves into a state of over-population and have sucked up too many resources. (Hmmmm, sound familiar...?) So, now there is less food for the owls and therefore less owls. The resident biologist calls this "Boom and bust." He says it has been going on for eons and will all work out in the end. I hope it does, and soon. I miss their calls.