Posted by: atowhee | July 6, 2022


July 7, update from Lee French in jackson County: “Saw a GGO do 1 grounding with no success. He then flew to a stump and sat there for over 2 hours.”
Here’s Lee’s owl in his photo:

July 6: Peter Thiemann and I wrote a book about these owls here on the Pacific Slope. This is the southern-most population of the species which is generally found further north in Canada, Siberia, Scandinavia. Here is Peter’s report on this spring’s situation in Oregon’s southern Cascades where there is a closely-watched population of Great Grays:

“It appears that we have a crash of voles here in the [Greatt Gray nesting] area caused by a lack of snow over winter and followed by cold rain in spring. The vole tunnels collapsed and they moved elsewhere not reproducing. As a result the GGO either moved away or failed to breed. This is the first of 12 years I have been monitoring that there are so few sightings. Paul Bannick [author of Great Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History] was here and observed same. [A local GGO watcher in Jackson County] in his latest post talked about how few sightings he has had, having to make many trips to locate one active nest. Rain on July 4 and now again, it has been interesting.”

The Great Gray Owl nests in many areas where prey populations rise and crash. Like many species from cranes to cormorants, they adjust their nesting behavior to prey availability. In lemming land they may skip a year or two, then lay more than a half dozen eggs when the lemmings are plentiful. But if climate change makes 2022 a typical year going forward…

I will be teaching a birding class in McMinnville this month, begins July 14–three night and three field trips. Click here, then look on page 13 of the program guide.

Some images from happier days:

These pictures have been taken by some of the many loyal, hopeful lovers of these exquisite creatues whom share this endangered planet with us. Many are by Peter Thiemann. The nest platform seen above was NOT used this year.


  1. […] Click here for brief update on Great Gray Owls right now in Jackson County. […]

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