Once again, the local barred owl has made an appearance. I was standing in Catch the Wind watching a raccoon snooze away the afternoon (another story for another time) when, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large brown bird fly down out of the trees and land on the edge of the service road near the entrance to Explore the Wild, some fifty yard’s distance. I was sure the bird had come down on some sort of prey. Just then a family, who must have also witnessed the bird’s descent to the ground, entered the scene. They stood a dozen feet or so from the bird.
The bird was a barred owl. Knowing that I probably wouldn’t be able get much closer to the bird before it took off again, I snapped off a few shots with the camera from my present position. The owl stood its ground for longer than I anticipated, but finally retreated to a low branch thirty feet or so from where it had landed. There, it commenced to eat its kill.
While talking to the family a few minutes later, I was informed that they also had taken photographs of the bird. In their photos, I could make out what the owl had captured, a frog, a pickerel frog.
I didn’t look at my photos until I downloaded them to my computer later that day. One of my photos revealed the frog in the bird’s talons.
I relocated the bird a few hours later as it rested in a pine tree along the same service road.
The following day, alerted by the raucous calls of crows overhead, I was delighted to again see that same owl. This time, it was in the swamp across from the Main Wetlands Overlook in Explore the Wild. Through relentless harassment by the crows the owl took flight and landed in a pine directly over the path leading to the overlook. This would allow me a closer approach to the owl.
Being more cautious than the owl, the crows soon departed. Crows don’t often allow themselves close proximity to humans. My presence, in trying to get photos of the owl, was too close for comfort and the crows reluctantly left.
After the crows’ retreat, the owl was able to spend more time concentrating on me.
Enjoy your day!