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Northern Spotted Owl II

The plight of the gravely endangered Spotted Owl illustrates the imperiled status of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. More than 90% of that forest is gone, a percentage that dwarfs even the worldwide loss of tropical forests and wetlands. Spotted Owls rely on those ancient trees - snags for nesting and roosting, and layers of canopy for shelter from predators. Learn more about Spotted Owl conservation at ABCBirds.org.

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BirdNote®

Old-growth Forest and the Spotted Owl
(Northern Spotted Owl II)

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!
[Spotted Owl hooting]
The plight of the gravely endangered Spotted Owl illustrates the imperiled status of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. More than 90% of that forest is gone, a percentage that dwarfs even the worldwide loss of tropical forests and wetlands.
The old-growth forests of Western Washington rank among the most stupendous in the world. Immense trees, centuries old, reach over 200 feet into the air and often measure 10 feet in diameter. Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western red cedar predominate among the giants. Smaller trees, mosses, fungi, and lichens flourish within. With a multi-layered canopy and many snags and fallen trees, old-growth forest is structurally complex.
[Spotted Owl hooting]
Spotted Owls rely on the massive snags for nesting and roosting. They rely on the layers of canopy to elude their predators. And the forest’s edible fungi and fallen trees feed and shelter the owl’s rodent prey.
Old growth is essential to the Spotted Owl’s survival.  You can find stands of old-growth forest on the Olympic Peninsula and south of Mount Rainier. If you go, listen for the call of the Spotted Owl among the ancient, regal giants.
[Spotted Owl hooting]
Learn more by coming to birdnote.org.
[Spotted Owl hooting]
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Call of the Northern Spotted Owl provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller
Forest ambient sounds provided by Kessler Productions and by C. Peterson
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© Seattle Audubon 02/02/06  © 2009 Tune In to Nature.org Rev. for Feb. 2009

ID#020206SPOWKPLU

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