A surprise in the ferns.

February 14, 2011

My last post mentioned barred owls. These are the predominant owls in our woods, at least as far as calling is concerned. Every February and then again in August, we are treated to the sound of them calling through the night and even sometimes during the day. Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all? It’s a lovely and familiar song, one that isn’t difficult to imitate; on August evenings, on the deck, we’ve called them right to the edges of the cleared area in the middle of the woods where our house is. We don’t often see them, though.

Imagine my surprise a few mornings ago when I went out to fill the bird feeder and realized that a barred owl was climbing out of the ferns where I’d just thrown a handful of sunflower seeds for the squirrels (part of my strategy to keep them from running out along the clothes line to the feeder). It stood briefly among the ferns, staring at me, and then it flew up to the lowest limbs of a big fir by our patio. It spent the day in the tree, coming down to the ferns once or twice (that we saw), hoping to catch one of the squirrels. But they’d retreated to the woodshed. The chickadees and nuthatches weren’t at all worried about the owl, feeding happily without the fierce scolding of squirrels to interrupt them.

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~ by theresakishkan on February 14, 2011.

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