Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains. Most sandstone is composed of quartz or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earths crust, like sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors are tan, yellow, grey, pink and black. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, quartz-bearing sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. They are formed from cemented grains that may either be fragments of a rock or be mono-minerallic crystals. The cements binding these grains together are typically calcite, grain sizes in sands are defined within the range of 0.0625 mm to 2 mm. The formation of sandstone involves two principal stages, first, a layer or layers of sand accumulates as the result of sedimentation, either from water or from air. Typically, sedimentation occurs by the settling out from suspension.
The most common cementing materials are silica and calcium carbonate, which are derived either from dissolution or from alteration of the sand after it was buried. Colours will usually be tan or yellow, a predominant additional colourant in the southwestern United States is iron oxide, which imparts reddish tints ranging from pink to dark red, with additional manganese imparting a purplish hue. Red sandstones are seen in the Southwest and West of Britain, as well as central Europe. The regularity of the latter favours use as a source for masonry, either as a building material or as a facing stone. These physical properties allow the grains to survive multiple recycling events. Quartz grains evolve from rock, which are felsic in origin. Feldspathic framework grains are commonly the second most abundant mineral in sandstones, Feldspar can be divided into two smaller subdivisions, alkali feldspars and plagioclase feldspars. The different types of feldspar can be distinguished under a petrographic microscope, below is a description of the different types of feldspar.
Alkali feldspar is a group of minerals in which the composition of the mineral can range from KAlSi3O8 to NaAlSi3O8. Plagioclase feldspar is a group of solid solution minerals that range in composition from NaAlSi3O8 to CaAl2Si2O8. Lithic framework grains are pieces of ancient source rock that have yet to weather away to individual mineral grains, accessory minerals are all other mineral grains in a sandstone, commonly these minerals make up just a small percentage of the grains in a sandstone
Endangered Species Act of 1973
The U. S. Supreme Court found that the plain intent of Congress in enacting the ESA was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost. The Act is administered by two agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Experimental, nonessential populations of endangered species are treated as threatened species on land, for consultation purposes. The near-extinction of the bison and the disappearance of the passenger pigeon helped drive the call for wildlife conservation starting in the 1900s, the public was introduced to a new concept, extinction. Market hunting for the trade and for the table was one aspect of the problem. The early naturalists killed birds and other wildlife for study, personal curio collections, while habitat losses continued as communities and farmland grew, the widespread use of pesticides and the introduction of non-native species affected wildlife. One species in particular received widespread attention—the whooping crane, the species historical range extended from central Canada South to Mexico, and from Utah to the Atlantic coast.
It would be eight years before the first national law regulating wildlife commerce was signed. The whooping crane population by 1941 was estimated at about only 16 birds still in the wild, the Lacey Act of 1900 was the first federal law that regulated commercial animal markets. It prohibited interstate commerce of animals killed in violation of state game laws, other legislation followed, including the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929, a 1937 treaty prohibiting the hunting of right and gray whales, and the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. These laws had a low cost to society–the species were relatively little opposition was raised. Whereas the Lacey Act dealt with game management and market commerce species. The predecessor of the ESA was the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, passed by Congress, this act permitted the listing of native U. S. animal species as endangered and for limited protections upon those animals. It directed federal agencies to preserve habitat on their lands.
The Act consolidated and even expanded authority for the Secretary of the Interior to manage, other public agencies were encouraged, but not required, to protect species. The act did not address the commerce in endangered species and parts, in March,1967 the first list of endangered species was issued under the act. It included 14 mammals,36 birds,6 reptiles and amphibians and 22 fish and it included only vertebrates because the Department of Interiors definition of fish and wildlife was limited to vertebrates. However, with time, researchers noticed that the animals on the species list still were not getting enough protection
National Park Service
It was created on August 25,1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. As of 2014, the NPS employs 21,651 employees who oversee 417 units, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial in 2016. National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior, the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior and they wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service, Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.
On March 3,1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933, the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasnt until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service, the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery, Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States national parks, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.
In 1872, there was no government to manage it. Yosemite National Park began as a park, the land for the park was donated by the federal government to the state of California in 1864 for perpetual conservation. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership, at first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, the National Park System includes all properties managed by the National Park Service
Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central and northern California, United States. The range passes through San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, the highest point in the range is Loma Prieta Peak 3,786 feet, near which is the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Other major peaks include Mount Umunhum 3,486 feet, Mount Bielawski 3,231 feet, El Sombroso 2,999 feet, Eagle Rock 2,488 feet, Black Mountain 2,800 feet, and Sierra Morena 2,417 feet. The San Andreas Fault runs along or near the line throughout the range. The east side of the mountains drops abruptly towards this fault line especially near Woodside, for much of the length of the range on the San Francisco Peninsula, State Route 35 runs along its ridge, and is known as Skyline Boulevard. The Santa Cruz Mountains have been a legally defined American Viticultural Area since 1981, wine has been produced here since at least the 1840s. The Santa Cruz Mountain AVA has emerged as premier producer of top wines, there are over 30 wineries located in this area.
The Santa Cruz Mountains are largely the result of uplift caused by a leftward bend of the San Andreas Fault. The Salinian Block basement rocks are overlain by Miocene rock strata of the Lompico Sandstone, the Vaqueros Sandstone, the Santa Cruz Mountains are a region of large biological diversity, encompassing cool, moist coastal ecosystems as well as warm, dry chaparral. Much of the area in the Santa Cruz mountains is considered temperate rainforest, there do exist several small and isolated stands of old-growth forest, most notably at Henry Cowell Redwoods and Portola Redwoods State Parks and one sizeable old-growth redwood forest at Big Basin. At higher elevations and on sunny south slopes a more drought-resistant chaparral vegetation dominates, California scrub oak, spring wildflowers are widespread throughout the range. The area welcomes a number of species of birds. Black-tailed deer, a subspecies of deer are common, as are western gray squirrels, chipmunks. Periodic sightings of black bears indicate they frequent the mountains or wander north from Big Sur, coyotes, bobcats and human-introduced Virginia opossums inhabit the region but are rarely seen.
Rattlesnakes are inhabitants, mostly in the high, dry chaparral, the Santa Cruz Mountains have a Mediterranean type climate typical of most of California, with the majority of the annual precipitation falling between November and April. According to the National Weather Service, this more than 50 inches annually. Due to a shadow effect, precipitation on the eastern side of the range is significantly less. Snow falls a few times a year on the highest ridges, no temperature records were kept at these stations
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. The park was established in 1940 and covers 461,901 acres and it incorporated General Grant National Park, established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias. The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park and they were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years, the first Native Americans in the area were Paiute peoples, who moved into the region from their ancestral home east of Mono Lake. The Paiute Nation people used deer and other animals for food. They created trade routes that extended down the slope of the Sierra into the Owens Valley. Kings Canyon had been known to white settlers since the mid-19th century, United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes fought to create the Kings Canyon National Park. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph and document this among other parks, the bill combined the General Grant Grove with the backcountry beyond Zumwalt Meadow.
Kings Canyons future was in doubt for nearly fifty years, some wanted to build a dam at the western end of the valley, while others wanted to preserve it as a park. The debate was settled in 1965, when the valley, along with Tehipite Valley, was added to the park, Kings Canyon National Park consists of two sections. The parks Giant Sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and this section of the park is mostly mixed conifer forest, and is readily accessible via paved highways. Both the South and Middle Forks of the Kings Rivers have extensive glacial canyons, one portion of the South Fork canyon, known as the Kings Canyon, gives the entire park its name. Kings Canyon, with a depth of 8,200 feet, is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The canyon was carved by glaciers out of granite, the Kings Canyon, and its developed area, Cedar Grove, is the only portion of the main part of the park that is accessible by motor vehicle. Both the Kings Canyon and its Middle Fork twin, Tehipite Valley, are deeply incised, U-shaped glacial gorges with relatively flat floors and towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high.
In addition, the canyon has several systems, one of which is Boyden Cave. To the east of the canyons are the peaks of the Sierra Crest, which attain an elevation of 14,248 feet NAVD88 at the summit of North Palisade. This is classic high Sierra country, barren ridges and glacially scoured lake-filled basins
The pileated woodpecker is a large woodpecker native to North America. This crow-sized bird normally inhabits deciduous forests in eastern North America, the Great Lakes, the forests of Canada. It is the second-largest woodpecker in the United States, after the critically endangered, adults are 40 to 49 cm long, span 66 to 75 cm across the wings, and weigh 250 to 400 g, with an average weight of 300 g. Each wing measures 21.4 to 25.3 cm, the tail measures 14.0 to 17.4 cm, the bill is 4.1 to 6.0 cm and the tarsus measures 3.1 to 3.8 cm. They are mainly black with a red crest, and have a line down the sides of the throat. They show white on the wings in flight, the flight of these birds is strong and direct, but has an undulating quality, similar to the relatively unique flight-style of all woodpeckers. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat, the only North American birds of similar plumage and size are the ivory-billed woodpecker of the Southeastern United States and Cuba, and the related imperial woodpecker of Mexico.
However, unlike the pileated, both of those species are rare, if not extinct. Most reports of the ivory-billed woodpecker are believed to be reports of the far more common pileated. The call is a loud, far-carrying laugh, sometimes described as a bird call due to its wild. The northern flicker, which is very different-looking and weighs half as much as a pileated, has a similar-sounding call. Its drumming can be loud, often sounding like someone striking a tree with a hammer. The drum sounds like 10 fast and hard taps, rather than the 10 slow, up to four subspecies of pileated woodpeckers have been recognized historically. Generally, pileated woodpeckers follow Bergmanns rule being smaller and more compact in the south, the ranges of the potential four subspecies are described below. Southern pileated woodpecker – the southeastern U. S and this bird favors mature forests and heavily wooded parks. They specifically prefer mesic habitats with large, mature hardwood trees, they inhabit smaller woodlots as long as they have a scattering of tall trees.
These birds mainly eat insects, especially ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They eat fruits and berries, including poison ivy berries, pileated woodpeckers often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects, especially ant galleries
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Santa Cruz County, California
Santa Cruz County, officially the County of Santa Cruz, is a county on the Pacific coast of the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 262,382, the county seat is Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz County comprises the Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, the county is on the California Central Coast, south of the San Francisco Bay Area region. The county forms the northern coast of the Monterey Bay, with Monterey County forming the southern coast, Santa Cruz County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. In the original act, the county was given the name of Branciforte after the Spanish pueblo founded there in 1797, a major watercourse in the county, Branciforte Creek, still bears this name. Less than two months on April 5,1850, the name was changed to Santa Cruz, mission Santa Cruz, established in 1791 and completed in 1794, was destroyed by the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, but a smaller-scale replica was erected in 1931.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 607 square miles. It is the second-smallest county in California by land area and third-smallest by total area, of Californias counties, only San Francisco is physically smaller. The county is situated on a coastline with over 29 miles of beaches. It is a strip of about 10 miles wide between the coast and the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains at the end of the Monterey Bay. Agriculture is concentrated in the lowlands of the countys northern and southern ends. Most of the coastline is flanked by cliffs, like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. The 2010 United States Census reported Santa Cruz County had a population of 262,382, hispanic or Latino of any race were 84,092 persons. As of the census of 2000, there were 255,602 people,91,139 households, the population density was 574 people per square mile. There were 98,873 housing units at a density of 222 per square mile. 25. 1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8. 2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older, the average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the county, the population was out with 23. 8% under the age of 18,11. 9% from 18 to 24,30. 8% from 25 to 44,23. 5% from 45 to 64. The median age was 35 years, for every 100 females there were 99.7 males
Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness. The national park is divided by the formations into East and West Divisions, connected by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls, the rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. The park features unusual talus caves that house at least thirteen species of bat, Pinnacles is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer months. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, and are a site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity. Pinnacles National Monument was established in 1908 by U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Pinnacles National Park was created from the former Pinnacles National Monument by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10,2013. Native Americans in the Pinnacles region comprised the Chalon and Mutsun groups of the Ohlone people and these native people declined with the arrival of the Spanish in the 18th century, who brought novel diseases and changes to the natives way of life.
The last Chalon had died or departed from the area by 1810, from 1810 to 1865, when the first Anglo-American settlers arrived, the Pinnacles region was a wilderness without human use or habitation. The establishment of a Spanish mission at Soledad hastened the areas native depopulation through disease, archaeological surveys have found thirteen sites inhabited by Native Americans, twelve of which post-date the establishment of the missions. One site is believed to be about 2000 years old, by the 1880s the Pinnacles, known as the Palisades, were visited by picnickers from the surrounding communities who would explore the caves and camp. The first account of the Pinnacles region appeared in print in 1881, between 1889 and 1891, newspaper articles shifted from describing excursions to the Palisades to calling them the Pinnacles. Interest in the rose to the point that the Hollister Free Lance sent a reporter to the Pinnacles. Investors came from San Francisco to consider placing a hotel there. In 1894 a post office was established in Bear Valley, since there was at least one other Bear Valley in California, the post office was named Cook after Mrs.
Hains maiden name. In 1924 the post office was renamed Pinnacles, Schuyler Hain was a homesteader who arrived in the Pinnacles area in 1891 from Michigan, following his parents and eight siblings to Bear Valley. White, was a student at Stanford University, and White brought one of his professors to see the Pinnacles in 1893, dr. Gilbert was impressed by the scenery, and his comments inspired Hain to publicize the region. Hain led tours to Bear Valley and through the caves, advocating the preservation of the Pinnacles, Hains efforts resulted in a 1904 visit by Stanford president David Starr Jordan, who contacted Fresno Congressman James C. Jordan and Needham in turn influenced Gifford Pinchot to advocate the establishment of the Pinnacles Forest Reserve to President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt proclaimed the establishment on July 8,1906
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, the park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a wilderness area. It is the hottest and lowest of the parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, the park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams, the valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.
Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology, the valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean, additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes, the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, in 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years, the result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the fans there are small
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
The long-eared owl is a species of owl which breeds in Europe and North America. This species is a part of the grouping of owls known as typical owls, family Strigidae. The other grouping of owls are the owls, family Tytonidae. The scientific name is from Latin, the genus name Asio is a type of eared owl, and otus refers to a small eared owl. The long-eared owl is an owl, 31–40 cm in length with an 86–100 cm wingspan. It has erect blackish ear-tufts, which are positioned in the centre of the head, the ear-tufts are used to make the owl appear larger to other owls while perched. The female is larger in size and darker in colouration than the male, the long-eared owls brownish feathers are vertically streaked. Tarsus and toes are entirely feathered, eye disks are characteristic in this species. However, the eye disks of A. otus are darker in colour or rusty-orange and this nocturnal species is perhaps most easily seen perched in a tree in its daytime roost, sometimes in small groups during the winter months.
There are about six thousand long eared owls in The United States, over much of its range, long-eared owls occur with the similar-looking short-eared owl. At rest, the ear-tufts of the long-eared owl serve to distinguish the two. The iris-colour differs, yellow in short-eared, and orange in long-eared, and the surrounding the eyes is vertical on long-eared. Overall, the short-eared owl tends to be a paler, sandier bird than the long-eared, the long-eared owls breeding season is from February to July. This bird is migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its temperate range. Its habitat is forest close to open country, these owls are secretive, and are rarely seen. It nests in trees, often coniferous, using the old nests of other birds such as crows and magpies. The average clutch size is 4–6 eggs, and the incubation time averages from 25–30 days and it will readily use artificial nesting baskets. An unusual characteristic of species is its communal roosting in thickets during the winter months