July 25, 2020

By Joshua Harkness

 At least 128 species of birds call Perry Hill Farm home or visit here while on migration; we feel it is important to provide these animals with the habitats and resources they need to survive and reproduce. We harvest our firewood by cutting overcrowded live trees and not dead trees, for dead trees provide an immense benefit to the forest and every species who calls it home. One such species is the barred owl, these magnificent birds need large diameter living or dead trees with cavities to raise their young. These features of a forest can take centuries to develop; barred owls need old, biologically diverse and structurally complex forests to reproduce. Our resident pair of barred owls has successfully raised three young this year; the fledglings now occupy their time by hopping and flying from branch to branch - high (approximately 90 ft up) in the canopy of sugar maples, beech, red oak and birch – and awaiting their parents’ return with a meal of gray squirrel, white-footed mouse or red-backed vole. By hunting predators of tree seeds and nestling birds, these owls literally shape the future of the forest and the species who will reside here; they are one of many necessary threads in the web of life, and they would not be here if it were not for the old trees. Please save your dead trees!