Great Basin Naturalist


From 1990 to 1992 we surveyed for Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus) in 3 areas in Idaho: Salmon National Forest (SNF), Payette National Forest and adjacent Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (PNF-HCNRA), and Nez Perce National Forest (NPNF). We also collected and summarized information on all historic and modern records of Flammulated Owls in Idaho. Flammulated Owls were detected on 65% of 68 routes (2–16 km in length) surveyed at densities ranging from 0.04 to 1.25 singing males/40 ha. Owls were detected on survey routes as early as 10 May and as late as 23 July. Mean percent canopy cover estimated at owl locations on the PNF-HCNRA and NPNF study sites ranged from 52% to 64%, while shrub cover ranged from 16% to 21% and ground cover was 39% to 49%. Our surveys and summary of distributional records indicated that Flammulated Owls occur throughout the montane forests of Idaho in old or mature stands of open ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and stands co-dominated by those 2 species. Fire suppression and timber harvest activity in ponderosa pine forests represent 2 main threats to the species' future security in Idaho. More research on the effects of various silvicultural treatments on Flammulated Owl populations is warranted.