Out here we often have a visit from a Northern Barred Owl. Yesterday morning, we had one visit. He actually wasn't visiting us though, it turns out. There was another Barred Owl, not far away. So when he was saying "Whoo-whoo-are-you, Whoo-whoo-are-you?" he probably was talking to a potential mate and not to his dinner.
Both my husband and I could hear him from inside the house, so knew he was close by, probably in one of the oak trees in the front yard. We stepped outside onto the front porch to listen better. The call came from somewhere in front of us and not too awfully high up, but still we couldn't see. And then we heard a return call off to the left, a bit deeper into the woods.
Then we saw him. He was large, gorgeous and silent as he swept down out of the tree in front of us and ghosted into the depths of the woods to meet his companion.
Wow. I would have loved to have been able to take a picture. Even if I'd thought ahead of time to bring my camera or phone out, I'm not sure I would have been quick enough. First I would have had to stop watching...and I don't think I could have done that.
I went inside the house and looked up owls to make sure of what kind he was. I first found a "Spotted Owl" picture and listened to the recorded call. It was almost the right look, but not quite - not light enough. The call was almost right, but not quite - not deep enough. And finally, it didn't live in our area...
My husband said to look up Barred Owl, and when I did, there he was, there his voice was, and the area he resided in was a larger area that included our own. They said in this article that the Spotted Owl is endangered and the Barred Owl is reaching farther East into the Spotted Owl territory, threatening their existence as they both eat the same prey. It was interesting that a Spotted Owl will stand by in a nearby tree and do nothing as a predator eats the eggs or babies in their nest. That can't help their existence either.
I had a good time reading about them. If you would like to do more reading about the Barred Owl and hear their call - try this site.
Hear a Barred Owl
If you would like to read my Barred Owl poem (using the word rhetoric) and other great poems in the March Madness 2013 Poetry Tournament...go here. And do some voting for your favorite poems while you are there!