The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Short-eared Owls of the Plains


Brad Trumbo

Short-eared owl: Roused by the fleet feet of a pointing dog, a short-eared owl takes flight over the central Washington scablands.

Glimpses of white flashed through the heavy sagebrush as Finn dashed across the scablands. Hungarian partridge and valley quail hunkered somewhere among the sage sea, and she was working her best to locate them. A carpet of spent grasses and forbs provided ample food sources for upland birds, which were inexplicably absent from the flood-scared landscape.

Circling a small basalt butte, I recalled the last flash of white being off to the left about 30-yards. Starting in that direction, my handheld locator alerted me that Finn was on point, simultaneous with my catching another glimpse of whi...

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