Sunday, June 23, 2013

Exciting Discoveries Return to the Davis Mountains.


Photo © Mark Lockwood

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)
As one of the enigmatic species of North America, one does not always go out to see a Long-eared Owl (LEOW).
The LEOW finds you.  It is up to the bird.

Recently, in the Davis Mountains (no more specific than that for a few valid reasons), TWO nests belonging to LEOW were discovered.  Two nests and nestlings.  Quite the discovery!
Have LEOW had prior, even annual, nesting in these mountains, only revealed post-fires?

It would seem the last nesting record of this species in Texas was in 1996 from Amarillo.

Excellence number two:

                                                           Photo © Cathryn Hoyt                                                                  
Spotless Comma/Anglewing (Polygonia haroldii)

This individual was recently discovered in the Davis Mountains by Dr. Cathy Hoyt.
This is THE FIRST U.S. RECORD for this species.

Is this butterfly a lone ranger, perhaps blown to this location by south winds?
Is there actually an isolated population of the species, uncovered only now post-fires?

Amazing, intriguing, stuff.
Greatness.


3 comments:

  1. Congrats, Dr. Hoyt. Great find. Are the Lepsoc, NABA, etc. aware of this record?

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    1. Dr. Hoyt is the Research Director for CDRI; http://cdri.org/ - it may not have been widely publicized due to being in a sensitive location as well as being a sensitive species until further notice.

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  2. Rich Kostecke (TNC)July 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    NABA is aware as I think Dr. Hoyt posted to one of their forums to get help on confirming the ID of the butterfly. There has been a little chatter about it on the TX-butterfly listserv, but not much. TNC did get some publicity for the sighting and the nesting Long-eared Owls through AP stories in various newspapers (mostly in Texas). Anyway, Dr. Hoyt will be working on a paper/note on the record.

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