Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Roosting Barred Owl

This morning I met Dottie and Sylvia for breakfast at the Prairie Café, and then for birding at Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Unfortunately, Sylvia got an emergency phone call concerning a friend and had to leave before we even left the café. Once at the conservancy, Dottie and I checked the "sparrow spot" and found White-crowned, White-throated, American Tree, and Fox Sparrows. Other birds present included Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-winged Blackbird, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, and more! While thoroughly exploring the area, we heard a distant Great Horned Owl calling from the heart of the woods. We decided to check it out.

On our way to where we thought we heard the Great Horned Owl, I spotted a roosting Barred Owl. Pointing up in its direction, I calmly motioned to Dottie, "There's a Barred Owl right up there!" We were both incredibly thrilled to have such an intimate view of the bird. Urban legend has it that having an owl in your dream symbolizes wisdom, insight, and virtue. As I digiscoped the sleepy owl, I pondered whether or not birds dream. Apparently, they may! What might a Barred Owl dream about? Eating? Flying through the dense woods? Encounters with other birds or animals? Or perhaps a woods free of mobbing crows!

As we tallied up our list for my eBird entry, we noticed we hadn't encountered a Blue Jay all morning. That seemed a bit strange. Usually they're all over the place along the creek corridor. I finally saw one on my way home, flying across Pheasant Branch Road toward the Conservancy Condos where there are lots of bird feeders.

Location: Pheasant Branch
Observation date: 2/7/10
Number of species: 28

Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Barred Owl © 2010 Mike McDowell

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