I had been catching brief glimpses of this Barred Owl every morning since mid-December. But, not being a morning person, I struggled to remind myself every morning, "check the tree limbs, before you turn on your office lights". I had managed to catch a video of her on one of the bluebird boxes that I could view from my office window:
So, it was such a raw and pure delight when, on the afternoon of Jan. 5th, Bob & Nikki decided I needed to go for a walk. Mid-way through our walk, we both realized we had left our phones at home. "Of course!", I said to myself. "This means we will see something wonderful and not be able to take a picture"!
And with that self-fulfilling prophecy thrown out to the Universe, that is EXACTLY what happened. As we rounded a corner on the northwest edge of the property, Nikki flushed our Barred Owl out of the fallen leaf litter. And she flew about 30' from us and landed on a limb only 10' off the ground. As I huffed and puffed, running to the house to fetch my camera, I thought, "she'll be gone when I return". But she wasn't.
She graced me with her presence for over 30 minutes - as I snapped over a hundred photos and finally remembered to turn on the video function of my camera. Seriously, I am in love. What a gorgeous, magical, mysterious creature! She has been frequenting all the bird houses and low tree limbs in the northern half of the property, using them as hunting perches.
I have seen her every day, sometimes more than once a day, perching on the Bluebird box. This will not go over well with the local Gobbler's Knob Community Housing Authority when nesting season starts, if she is still here. I suspect the Tufted Titmice, Chickadees and Bluebirds will be complaining the loudest.
She started to look bored and sleepy when I finally activated the video function of my camera.
Yesterday, as I watched over my bird feeders, I noticed a very small, but Kestrel-sized hawk landing on the feeder supports. As I filmed it, I realized it was a Sharp-shinned hawk - very small, but very deadly. Ok, but move on by end of February, Buster!
Then today, as I stared out my window at the clearing fog and the gathering clouds and watched the leaves blow in the increasing winds, I noticed 2 'different' larger-than-buzzards birds, soaring above the Northern Tier. By the time I retrieved my movie camera and card, they had circled toward the neighbor's 200 acres, but it was clear - the mated pair of Bald Eagles from Montauk were soaring around, searching for food. *STAY OUT OF MY POND*!!
It is so exciting to read the eagles' numbers are rebounding: http://krcgtv.com/news/local/rebound-of-the-bald-eagle-a-mid-missouri-camera-lens