Monday, March 18, 2013

Barred Owl

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! 

18 comments:

  1. What a cool experience! Owl sightings (by me) are rare, so I really enjoyed living vicariously through you. Maybe the pair will find a home near you so you can see them again.

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    1. That would be so awesome. One night I was up in our loft with the windows open, and a Barred Owl was in the tree right next to the window. Wow! That gave me shivers! It was like he was on my shoulder it was so loud and close! I'd hate to be a mouse.

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  2. We can hear barred owls in the woods but I've rarely seen one. How exciting to actually see it and experience the magic!

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    1. I hope we see more of him this summer. I know we'll hear him!

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  3. I only had this happen once, the walking through dark woods, then the swoop down-amazing. So glad you told about it Donna. And now I see the why of your poem. I'm rooting for you, have voted!

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    1. Thanks for voting, Linda! We've seen either this owl or a relative a few times over the years. They do live a long time. One night I had just gotten home and one swooped down just past my head in the dark. Now I know why people imagined ghosts coming out of old houses and barns...much the same image with white blur of wings and silently swooping!

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  4. My Aunt is probably one of the coolest people one will ever meet!! Love you Aunt Donna!! Emilie

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    1. Except maybe for you! Love you more!

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  5. I've never heard of this type of owl. I can't wait to check out your poem next.

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    1. The Barred Owl is really quite common, but you often just hear them and cannot find them. The blend in very well with the tree they are in. When he flew out of the tree right in front of us though, there was no blending in...but there was no sound. Those wings are so quiet.

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  6. Wow Donna how cool is this! Once in a while I see wild animals where I live mostly deer. By the way I forgot to tell you I also used bok choy in the veggies ;-)

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    1. I love to see wild animals, and we often do here. I tried replying to this but noticed I'd written book chop instead of bok choy! Of course, I deleted that! I was just going to say I'd never cooked bok choy...then again, I've never cooked a book chop either!

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  7. We used to have an owl in the ravine below our house...I never saw it as he stayed in the trees. So glad you were given the gift of this...and that you forgot your camera and were able to just watch and enjoy. (oh, but wouldn't a picture have been fun!) I had a red tailed hawk swoop in front of me while I had the camera in my hands...but was so in awe that I forgot I had it. I will check out your poem. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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    1. Sometimes you just have to hope you will remember as you take those pictures with your eyes and not through the camera lens!

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  8. It is fun for us city people to read your descriptions of nature. I learned something new today. Thank you!

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    1. I love learning about the animals that I see around our house. We used to see moose here, too. But I think a house was built where they did most of their feeding. One used to come and look in our windows...or else he was looking at his reflection! Either way, it's pretty startling!

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  9. Barred owls are small right? We had a big snowy owl hang in our tree for the longest time. Your post makes me think of Yolan's picture book, Owl Moon.

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    1. Actually, they are quite large at about 20 inches long with a 4 ft. wingspan. A Barn Owl is very small. When we lived in Minnesota we had a visiting Barn Owl in our barn. He was very small and sat on the low rafters in the stone base of the barn to watch the proceeding with our horses we had at the time.
      The Barred Owl is quite impressive in size, especially in flight!

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