Our Golden Gate Audubon birding trip reached a busy climax on our last evening as we birded Skagit Flats. All afternoon we’d traced Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks, Harriers and Bald Eagles. Two eagle nests were visible from one location; each had nesting underway. Then as the sun sank, clouds masked the light and dusk began hinting at night, three Short-eared Owls appeared before us and began to hunt along with the diurnal birds.
Here is fine photo by birder Kevin Sadler taken that evening:These owls are likely among those that nest in eastern Oregon and Washington. They prefer to winter away from heavy snow cover as they roost on the ground and hunt ground animals. Thus coastal grasslands and marshes are preferred outside breeding season.