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Posted by: atowhee | September 10, 2019

NOT A POTATO CHIP, A FURRY CHIP INSTEAD

Ashland birder, Lee French, shared these two pictures of a Great Gray Owl eating a least chipmunk in the Cascades of Jackson County.  It is the smallest chipmunk species on earth but still a bit of a mouthful for a Great Gray.  They specialize in small prey: voles, shrews, etc.  An adult least chipmunk can weigh as much as 2.5 ounces while a montane  vole or red-backed vole (likely targets in that area) would weigh less than 2 ounces. In the research I’ve seen chipmunks do not rank high as food source.  Partially that may be because they don’t often wander in open areas to be caught.  The GGO is a noted locavore, lemmings in the far north, pocket gophers in California, reindeer in Lapland (I’m kidding).S-2_Moment.editS-1 edit_Moment. 3Normally a GGO would swallow its prey whole, head first. They can butcher, however, ass they must to feed the owlets when really small.

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