Monday, July 22, 2013

Our Little Owl

Those of you who know me and/or have been in my home, know that I like owls.  I think they are adorable little creatures and I like the symbolism that is associated with them. 
In May we had a little encounter with our own little owl, in our own back yard!!!
Isn't he the most adorable thing you ever saw!?!
It had stormed the night before and it looked like he might have had a rough time of it.  Poor thing.
Tilly is actually the one that found this little guy sitting on a log on the ground in our back yard.  Her barking caught the attention of Josh who quickly brought her inside and waved the rest of outside to have a look. 
I quickly grabbed my camera and started taking pictures while Josh called animal control and asked them what we should do.  They told us that it was normal for the mother to push the chick out of the nest to teach it to fly and sometimes it took a few days for the little guys to get the hang of it.   Meanwhile they could be found on the ground and you would likely find the mother nearby keeping watch.  Basically we were told to let it be and all would work out. 
It turns out we think the nest was in our back yard the whole time.  We had been hearing the "whoing" of an owl at night but it never occurred to me that we were harboring a little family in our own yard. 
We did find the mother keeping an eye on us way up at the top of a big tree.  Her markings along with the owl call we have been hearing at night identified her as a Barred Owl.  Too Cool!!!

The chick was certainly the star of the show.  I took several shots of him (have I said I love my camera!) and he was a willing subject.  I'm grateful for my telephoto lens that allowed me to get good shots without getting too close.  Didn't want that mama after me.  I plan to get one (or more) of these shots printed and hang them in my house.  A personal addition to my owl collection.

An hour or so later Josh noticed that the little guy had moved on.  He noticed some movement in the ivy but when he got closer to look the mama swooped closer too.  Josh backed off quickly.  I noticed the mama a few days later and we heard them at night for a few days, but after that the little family must have moved on.  Hopefully she might return next year.  I will certainly have my eyes out.


Tara Nelson said...

So Cool! In our ten years of birding and 230 identified birds we have yet to see a Barred Owl. Count yourselves lucky.

Charis said...

Cute! what awesome pictures and memories to add to your Owl collection! However, I am unaware of the symbolism in Owls. you will have to educate me.