Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Feb. 21, 2018

February 21, 2018 2:46 pm

Field Notes: What's in the Woods Today? Feb. 21, 2018

Owls and Berries

by Area Forester Lisa Deaton

Last week began with finding an owl pellet in my yard.  Lately I have been hearing the call of great horned owls.  In the past, we have seen barred owls and eastern screech-owls.

owl pellet

There are many good branches on the loblolly pine directly overhead for an owl to perch and digest a meal.

owl roost pine

I took a second look at the pellet after the rain, and the fur and bones could be from a squirrel.  The longest bones are 2 1/2 inches long.

wet owl pellet

Flocks of cedar waxwings have also been passing through.  When a whole flock feeds on the berries of an eastern redcedar or holly, it looks like the tree is waving all of its branches at you at once.

We found more berries while working with the Hampton Clean City Commission to plan a new “Central Park” in the City of Hampton.   The hackberry below was still holding fruit.  We did not study it closely enough to determine if it was a sugarberry, hackberry or dwarf hackberry.

hackberry berries

And, this greenbrier was heavily loaded with fruit.

saw greenbrier berries

We also noticed a slash pine with ripening male catkins that will produce pollen in the near future.

slash catkins


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