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Non-invasive Owling spotlight (1 Viewer)

MacHector

Active member
Hi All

Advice sought on a good non-invasive owling torch. Green light? Powerful enough to see into the trees without risking stressing the birds. Any particular brands or models that are designed for the purpose?

Many thanks

Andrew
 

jurek

Well-known member
You are looking for a good 'throw' parameter. I currently use Fenix tk35ue. Red filter helps.

However, for owls and night animals, more important is not to shine directly at them, but switch on the light pointing at the side, and slowly move it on the target. Also, avoid shining at things other than the owl, especially not at parts of your or other peoples body. Most important is: keep very quiet.
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Andrew,

Advice sought on a good non-invasive owling torch. Green light? Powerful enough to see into the trees without risking stressing the birds. Any particular brands or models that are designed for the purpose?

I imagine you might get the best results with regard to non-invasiveness by using an infrared night vision device and an IR light.

Obviously, green or red light is not going to give a full colour impression of the owl anyway, so moving to IR shouldn't be too bad.

Of course, it's a more expensive option than visible light (assuming you already own binoculars, which I take as a given), and you're basically looking at a computer screen and not through optics, which limits resolution and maybe affects unaided night vision.

Regards,

Henning
 

jurek

Well-known member
My experience is that shining/not shining light disturbs an owl much less than a person itself approaching the owl. In an open habitat, it is better to watch an owl from a longer distance with strong light, than to chase after it with weaker light.

I advise being quiet, especially not trampling into bushes or dry leaf litter - keep to dirt roads, footpaths, sand or a similar surface. If you see fledging owls, don't stay with them for more than few minutes - they are naive, but their parents will be afraid of feeding them.

I have a limited experience with watching owls using a thermal imager (a very expensive device). It can be extremely useful, also by finding a calling owl hidden between branches (not a trivial task) or finding a roosting owl at a daytime. However, when pointing directly at a tree above, the contrast between cold sky and warmer branches totally obscures an owl.
 
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