A Western Screech Owl Graces Halter Ranch

Roger's Screech Photo

Courtesy of Roger Zachary


Each year around this time we welcome a hearty group of bi and monoculared guests as part of the Morro Bay Bird Festival.  Roger Zachary of Atascadero and our own Mitch Wyss lead an Ornithological tour of the Halter Ranch property.  This year was particularly special in that the group caught a lucky glimpse of the fairly common, but rarely seen, Western Screech Owl among many other beautiful avian tenants (some migratory, some temporary, and some more permanent).  Though we were able to capture a shot of the owl above with Roger’s help, we would highly suggest experiencing some of his photos here as they are quite diverse and beautiful.  

A few birds the group was particularly excited about:

Cooper’s Hawk

 Wilson’s Snipe

Red Breasted Sapsucker

 Overall 44 unique sightings were achieved on Halter Ranch Bird Walk 2013.  Each year we look forward to this event as it is a wonderful opportunity to share some of the more remote portions of the property while offering a reminder of the sheer natural beauty West Side Paso Robles has to offer.  Like most vineyards we are elated to see birds of prey around the property as they are an excellent control for rodents, ground squirrels, and certain insect pests.  As an example, a family of barn owls may consume somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000 rodents over the course of a year.  Our conclusion?  Love your raptors and smile a little bit each time you see one, we certainly do.  Cheers!








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