Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Our Very Own Screech Owl

The day began with an interesting visitor. A rather larger rodent was inpecting the squirrel feeder. In broad daylight!

I headed out, grabbing a broom handle I keep just outside the backdoor that I use to move the squirrels along if they are hogging the feeders from the birds. The rodent bolted as soon as I hit the back deck and I could not relocate it.

I vowed to buy a trap on the way home and take care of the situation.

As night fell, I armed the trap and decided to set it up near the squirrel feeder. Just after I laid it down I stood up and glanced to ward the backyard. There was a shape sitting atop the tray feeder pole. It seemed about Mourning Dove size and color in the dim light. Doves? Awake at this hour?

I turned to head in for a camera just in case it was what I was starting to figure out. I pre-focused inside the house knowing my small digital wouldn't get a look in the near total darkness and headed back out out. I took one shot but it was horribly out of focus. I needed a flashlight to try and add to my chance of a shot. I headed back.

My wife had now gotten to the backdoor following my excited footsteps. When I tried to point out the bird behind me I turned and the shape was gone. I asked for a flashlight.

Moving down toward the tray feeder I could barely make out the shape now in the laurel tree just past the deck. Yep. A Screech Owl! I tried a couple of shots but the best I could manage was this.

Screech Owl

Seems I might not need that trap after all. I had a much better one right here. This was the first time I have ever seen a Screech Owl in this area. Farthest south in town at all.

Let the hunting begin, little owl. Eat up!

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