Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Barred on My Birthday

A smash on my home office window made me cautiously peer out through the blinds. There, down below outside was Dean making a bunch of weird arm movements and pointing east. He'd thrown a snowball up to my window to get my attention.

After a few minutes of charades I realized he wasn't having spasms but was pointing to something in our ash trees.

The Barred Owl has returned and is actively hunting in our yard today. What an awesome birthday gift! The day just keeps getting better and better!


We've had the owl in our yard off and on since last summer when its strange calls (owls do more than hoot!) would send shivers down our spines late at night around the campfire.

A few months ago, it started showing up in our yard in the late evening and early morning, and within the last two weeks it has been roosting in our spruce trees and our big white pine:


Today's the first time I've seen it actually hunting in the middle of the day. We have plenty of prey around for it, with all our bird feeding stations (mice, voles, squirrels, rabbits) so it should be getting enough food. We're guessing it's a young owl who has just staked out its new territory. How lucky are we!

It seems to have learned we don't pose a threat to it, and in fact probably gives us props for chasing off the crows that mob it periodically. The crows will fly in and start a ruckus, the owl will twitch open its eyes, Dean heads out the door and yells at the crows, they leave and the owl goes back to sleep. 

In today's snow the owl is nearly invisible once it's landed in our trees with its brown and white markings. The vision of it swooping low across the snowy yard is just stunning. Will have to try to snap an in-flight photo. Such a treat to watch an amazing bird...





17 comments:

  1. Absolutely Marvelous! and Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks, Dan! It's been fun to watch it, such a magnificent bird.

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  3. Oh wow, you are lucky! It would be nice if he was there with a mate too.I love owls. Love the photos!

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    1. I almost forgot, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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    2. Thanks so much, Eileen. We've been hearing owls all over the place at night, just not sure who will win the stake-out for breeding territory :-)

      Many thanks for the birthday wishes!

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  4. Tammi, I heard many Barred Owls when I was in FL, but never saw one. I am familiar with their calls. I hope I am able to see one one day. Congrats! The shots are very good too.

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    1. They have such an amazing range of calls, don't they Maria? Thanks so much for the nice note.

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  5. Happy birthday! I'm trying to see and photograph all the owl species of North America (19, I believe). You have a marvelous view of one that is still on my list to see. Awesome images! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jeff. I really love your blog and am looking forward to following you. Good luck with your owl "hunt!"

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  6. What a special Birthday Treat!!!

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  7. Oh my goodness, how lucky you are! Exceptional images of this handsome Barred Owl! We were walking the dogs on our country property one night when we were startled and spooked by a piercing, loud, maniacal call. The culprit, a Barred Owl. A fabulous birthday gift for you!

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    1. Don't they sound bizarre, Julie? I just love it though - such a wild sound. How nice that you have them on your property! Thanks much for the nice note :-) (I'm heading your way on Friday - spending a week downtown!)

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