Saturday, May 10, 2008

Barred Owl Encounter

We had severe thunderstorms on Thursday night, receiving about 1 inch of rain. The skies began to clear last evening so I took a walk. As I walked up up a hill, I saw a large bird which flew to a tall poplar. I walked toward the top of the hill and turned around to look again at the poplar since I hadn't seen a bird fly off. As I scanned the tree, I saw the Barred Owl looking back at me.


Photo: May 9, 2008

The Barred Owl is the only owl in the United States that has dark eyes but this one's eyes appeared red because he was facing the sun I suppose.

I watched him for a long time. He only stopped staring when my cat climbed a tree. He then turned his head to watch the cat.


Photo: May 9, 2008

After a few minutes, a Scarlet Tanager flew into another yellow poplar tree. The owl turned its head almost 180 degrees to look at him. I was scared the owl might attack the beautiful bird but no, he did not. I had spotted a pair of male and female Scarlet Tanagers earlier in the week, feeding on the blooms of an oak tree. I was hoping I would see one again.


Photo: May 9, 2008

I went up the hill and then started down this old logging road which was lined with more Yellow Poplar Trees and a blooming dogwood in the distance. It is starting to look like summer already.

Coming back, I noticed the owl had left. I guess he was waiting for me to leave.


Photo: May 9, 2008

When I returned to the house, I noticed an Indigo Bunting below the feeders. I have seen these for a couple of weeks now.

To cap off a nice spring evening, I sat outside to watch the bats fly out of the bathouse which has been on the side of our house for almost 20 years. First, four flew out, then another three for a total of 7 --I think Big Brown Bats. We have had as many of 30 bats in there one summer (with moms and the babies). No matter how many times I watch, it still gives me a little thrill to see them fly overhead. And, I don't mind them eating all the mosquitoes!

The bedroom windows were open last night but I did not hear the Barred Owl as we sometimes do. I read that the Barred Owls mate for life and use the same nest every year. So, I will be looking for the nest which I hope is on our land.

10 comments:

  1. Barred Owls, Tanagers, Buntings . . . You just have to love this time of the year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! What a bird-a-licious day. I love the scarlet tanager. I think of backpacking and hearing chick-bur above me as I hike. I've only seen an indigo bunting once in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. mon@rch--Yes, spring is my favorite time of year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jennifer--I love the scarlet tanager as well. The indigo bunting is around the feeder only a couple of weeks, then they move on to old fields.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd love to have the barred owls nest on our land, too. I see one and hear them often--never the nest, though.
    I'd even thought of putting up a box to encourage them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW, all I can say is WOW! I love your barred owl! What a great picture and to be able to hear them from your house must be awesome! I love the other birds as well, but can you tell the owl is my favorite!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nina--I read that the Barred Owls nest in old hawk nests so maybe you do have one. It is nice to hear them at night, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Chris--yes, the Barred Owl is my favorite too. I heard one on a walk the other evening but didn't see him. I don't know if he was trying to warm me to stay away or what.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, you lucky duck! I would give anything to have a 'barred owl encounter'! You sure had a great birding day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bird Girl--thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have a Barred owl encounter soon!

    ReplyDelete