Friday, March 30, 2012

Barred Owl Update

Been so busy that I have not made a concentrated effort to check on the Barred Owl nest lately. I wandered around the fence and made a quick scan of the nest hole. Interesting. What is that I see peeking around the corner?

Barred Owl

A little fuzzy head! It never showed its full face but there it was, nonetheless. So, we have one. I walked to different angles to see if I could see deeper into the nest. There! Stage left, was a larger chick hiding in the shadows. Two chicks not far off from leaving the nest.

Barred Owl

We hear the adults every evening and most early mornings but rarely see them. However, I did hear the lingering migrants like the Indigo Buntings and the Catbird so I returned across the fence to see if I could get a shot. They were not very cooperative. The Buntings took off. The Catbird stayed in poor positions until it ventured out before following the Buntings. Gotcha!

Gray Catbird

Suddenly, the local Blue Jays raised the alarm and headed toward the owl tree. Seemed they were focusing right in front of the nest. Time to head back and see if either a chick had emerged or if an adult returned. Ah, an adult who couldn't care less about the noisy Jays.

Barred Owl

A few seconds later, the owl settled in and began to preen. It first dug its head down into the fluffy middle of its chest.

Barred Owl

Then, it began to select individual feather and cleaned them all the way out to the tips. This continued for several minutes (and a hundred photos, but I won't bore you with those as this is my favorite) and was only interrupted when something made a noise behind me and the owl snapped to attention.

Barred Owl

Staring past me and realizing nothing was worth looking at, the bird returned to preening and then began to rest so I left the yard to give it some alone time.

Barred Owl

Chicks could be leaving the nest at anytime now. Ears and eyes will be open when home.

1 comment:

warriormom said...

I love the preening owl pictures! Just great!