Friday, October 05, 2007

Owl Calling

So, the story finally comes together and all the pieces seem to fit. Sylvia and Dottie told me that on Wednesday evening they observed a Great Horned Owl flying up and down the stream corridor frantically calling and calling. It flew to tree tops and called – zoomed to the other side of Park Street, perched, checked around an old nesting site and kept on calling. Perhaps it couldn't see its lifeless mate in the grass below. And what irresistible thing had its mate seen during Tuesday night's hunt? Perhaps a morsel of a mouse, carelessly scurrying across the athletic fields adjacent to the conservancy. The hungry owl instinctively swooped down on its prey, but was stopped short by a barrier it had never dealt with before. The struggle to try and free itself from the soccer net probably lasted several hours, through dawn, and ultimately discovered that afternoon by some kids. Though freed with help, the stress and injuries were too great and had taken their toll. Aaron's story completes the tragedy of this owl – making its final flight across the street, choosing an easy perch to try and regain its strength. But there, sometime before dusk, it simply perished. Utterly spent, its life gently slipped away...its once powerful talons slowly releasing their grip, feathers moving through air for the last time, coming to rest in the moist grass below. One wonders how long the mate will search and call, and how long it will be until there is a new answer.

Great Horned Owl image 2007 Mike McDowell

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