Abstract - Summary of Calling Surveys for Flammulated and Northern Saw-whet Owls in the Southern Black Hills

Hays, Nancy J. 1997. Summary of Calling Surveys for Flammulated and Northern Saw-Whet Owls in the Southern Black Hills.


Population and status data on small forest owls that inhabit the Black Hills is extremely limited. In addition, there is basically no information on the Flammulated Owl in the Black Hills, where seemingly suitable habitat occurs. Reasons for this are unknown, but, a recent observation of a “dark eyed owl” caught in a bat mist net by Joel Tigner in 1994 raises suspicion that this owl could occur in the Black Hills on a more regular basis than previously believed. This project attempted to establish the population and breeding status of the Northern Saw-whet Owl and the Flammulated Owl in the southern Black Hills and identify areas of high potential habitat for these species and their management.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is currently monitored by the South Dakota Natural Heritage Database Program and the Flammulated Owl probably would be if it was previously know to occur in the state. Baseline data is needed to see if these very secretive species are in need of further management. While both federal and state agencies are concerned about these species, funding at the agency level does not exist for gathering this baseline data. However, if baseline studies indicate the need for further management, funding from other sources may become available for those purposes.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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