Monday, March 11, 2013
North Woods Owling
I couldnt make it to Robert's sighting last night, so I tried today to see if we could spot the Barred Owl. After searching the last know location I got a text that it had been re-found in the North Woods. As I got there a small group of photographers was shooting the bird in a gnarly old tree. Its camo was working well but it was very alert as there were large numbers of hawks about. As we settled in to watch it was harassed by multiple birds like tit-mice, cardinals and the occasional Dee. It was also buzzed by some photographers which made it very uneasy. Unfortunately one of them got too close and the bird flew from its gorgeous perch just as the sun arrived. I then took some personal time to let the situation de-escalate and then returned to the find the bird's new perch. After a while it became relaxed enough to preen and stretch. Flyout was at 645. We followed it around the Loch as it flew from perch to perch, scanning the hill. It flew across the West Drive and drove a red-tailed hawk out of a large oak. We then stood slient as it dropped down to a tree stump beside the drive. Don't let this pic fool you, it was very dark (just look at the pupils) and was digging into a hole at the top. There was something in there, but we couldnt tell what. Whatever it was, the Owl couldnt grab it. After some trying, it hopped to a nearby tree, still focusing on the hole. Amazingly, it flew back and snagged whatever was in the hole! It was impossible to see what exactly it had but there was no noise so there is the chance it was cached by the owl earlier. Whatever the case, a frustrating but ultimately rewarding night of Owling in the Park.