In 1994, Steve Gniadek (SJG) located a Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) nest in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. This was the 1st nest found in Montana and the northwestern United States. Prior to this discovery, only 3 states in the contiguous United States (Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin) had breeding records for this species. Historical evidence suggests that Northern Hawk Owls previously bred in Montana. A photo taken in 1990 of a misidentified fledgling in GNP is the 1st verified breeding record. Subsequent breeding has been documented in the vicinity of the 1994 nest, and elsewhere in Montana and the northwestern US. The 1994 nest cavity was 13.7 m high in a 42-cm diameter-at-breast-height (DBH) dead Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides), in an area that burned at moderate to high intensity in 1988. At least 7 nestlings fledged. Based on pellet analysis, the adults ate predominantly voles (Cricetidae, 96.3%), and they were observed to pluck and cache their prey.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2