The directions to the Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus
), as posted on the Berrien Birding Club listserv, read something like this (and I paraphrase):
From Three Oaks [Berrien County, Michigan] drive north on Three Oaks Road about three miles to the Riverside Cemetery. Turn right at the second (northernmost) entrance to the cemetery, turn right at the first crossroad, look for the water spigot on the right-hand side of the road and pull over at that point. Look for the orange traffic cone on your right. Walk about 20 feet to the orange traffic cone on your right [which had been conveniently place there by Kirk Schrader, who made the original discovery], stop at that point, and look straight up about 10 feet.
And it was that incredibly easy! Roosting there in the lower-most branches of an ancient conifer at about 1:30 pm on Friday, March 14, was a sleepy-eyed Northern Saw-whet Owl. This little owl has been using this roost site for some time judging from the accumulation of droppings and pellets on the ground. And don't dare ask me what number this species is on my life list, 'cause I have no idea. Does this make me a bad birder? No, just a lackadaisical one.