June 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm #5011
After nearly being impaled by the Cooper’s Hawk in my driveway this morning (who apparently didn’t SEE me while he was on a hunting “run”, until the last second, which is annoying because he is, well, a HAWK!), my wife an I were treated to the antics of a new Barred Owl fledgling perched above my shed. Appears to be a little girl, and I must say, she hates me. She hisses at me continuously as I approach with binoculars, but stretches to get a closer look at my wife, Lynne, to the point of slipping on the branch, each time she does. Mama owl is unusually tolerant, which is nice because she is very large, even for a Barred. She hunts full time to feed her hungry owlet, but to date, she has never seemed all that interested in my blues, even though they are right nearby. She prefer chipmunks. I need to get photography equipment, instead of using my phone. I have to start taking better photos of my blues and everything else. This owlet looks like a snowball, with a black face and yellow bill, perched next to her mother. Quite a sight!
Bedford, New HampshireJune 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm #5013Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Wow, Randh – sounds like fun – well at least exciting! Have never had experience with nesting Owls, or really have not seen that many. We do live in a rural subdivision with 5 acres of pasture & yard. Probably there, but my eyes are always peeled for blues. Hope this owlet learns to like you both! Have fun.June 25, 2017 at 8:39 pm #5014
That’s awesome! We have barred owls that live in the woods behind our house…they can make quite the racket sometimes. Have seen adults but never a fledgling. Have you put up a box for them or do they just nest nearby? I’ve read that they will nest in boxes and have been contemplating putting one up with hopes of keeping the chipmunk population in check haha. But I also wasn’t sure if it would scare off all my song birds if they were nesting closer than usual.June 25, 2017 at 8:50 pm #5017
Thanks Carol and Meg. It is fun, but it really comes down to the safety of my blues; that is what I am concerned about. I was just out there, again. It is just about dark. Mama Barred is perched low, and actively hunting about 35 feet from the BB nest box. The owlet has come down to about 20 feet, and is watching closely. My blues are gone for the night; no eggs in the nest, yet, but I am going to have to figure mama owl out before too long. Barred Owls will eat rodents, birds, fish and snakes. It bothers me that she has decided to raise this one on the south end of my property, near my blues. She normally stays on the other side of the yard.
Bedford, New HampshireJune 25, 2017 at 9:02 pm #5018SassyParticipant
Hey Randy, that has to be exciting to see a baby owl. I have to admit I never have, but like you I would be concerned for the Blues. I hope things work out for the best, and the Barred Owl Mama does not decide to harm anything other than the chipmunks.
Connie (PA)June 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm #5019dogsandbirdsModerator
This sounds like so much fun! Get a camera!
Atlanta, GAJune 25, 2017 at 9:13 pm #5021
On it, Gin!
Bedford, New HampshireJune 26, 2017 at 6:53 am #5039verachuckdaveParticipant
Hi Randy: My husband got me a Canon EOS Rebel T5i for Christmas that I just LOVE! With the zoom lens, I can sit on my deck and get fantastic pictures of my blues, TRES, and any other critters that look interesting. My son got me a tripod and a remote control for the camera shutter which is also “nifty.” There is just so much out there to photograph. . . my farmer neighbors dug out an irrigation pond about 100 yards off the back of my property, and it has become a sanctuary for ducks, geese and a pair of sand hill cranes! Word of warning: a good camera will increase your bird-watching obsession. I drive my husband crazy by running for the camera every time I see something interesting!
PennsylvaniaJune 26, 2017 at 6:59 am #5040
Thank you, Susan! Nothing means more to me, when researching a purchase, than an endorsement from someone who already owns and uses it! Thank you, very much! I will look into it. Like I said, my wife wakes up in the morning, shaking her head at all the stuff I PLAN to do that day… I’ll simply add photographing wildlife to the list. :)
Bedford, New HampshireJune 26, 2017 at 9:08 am #5043
Good news and bad news, related to the owls. The good news is that my blues are aware of mama owl, and they dive bombed her together this morning after mama blue emerged from the nest box after having laid the first egg of the second nesting (I will confirm that this evening). The bad news is that mama owl did not flinch and did not move. Below is a photo of mama owl immediate following the encounter with my blues. She is only 20 feet from the nest box. I am not happy with her. The second, ridiculously poor, iPhone photo is of the owlet, 50 feet in the air above mama owl’s head (very center of the photo). I will get a quality camera, soon.
Bedford, New HampshireJune 26, 2017 at 2:01 pm #5048
I hope she continues to leave the blues alone! I also have a Cannon but the EOS Rebel T3i with a 55-250 zoom lens and I also love it.June 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm #5049
Oh and agree with Susan definitely increases the obsession..I refuse to store the camera in its bag and insist on keeping it within 10 feet of the door just in case of a photo “emergency” LOL.June 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm #5052SassyParticipant
Thanks for sharing the picture of the owl. I can see Mama just as plain as can be, but am not sure if what I think is the baby is the baby or something I am trying to turn into one. LOL
I truthfully did not think the blues would frighten her, not too many things will take on a bird of prey so they are pretty much in control. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she does not take a liking to the blues, but it does not sound like a good situation. A very stressful situation for you to be in.
Connie (PA)June 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm #5057
Happy to report that mama blue dropped her first egg of the second nesting, this morning. There have been no further “dust-ups” with the Barred Owl, and my wife and I witnessed a remarkable sight shortly after I posted the owl pictures earlier. Mama owl caught and killed a grey squirrel, and fed it to the owlet over twenty minutes as we observed. It was like an old time episode of Wild Kingdom. Beyond fascinating. I am pleased that the owl is focused on larger game, and I am glad that the blues are uniquely aware of her presence. All’s well, for the time being…
Bedford, New HampshireJune 26, 2017 at 7:11 pm #5062verachuckdaveParticipant
Randy, your owls are outstanding. It’s just a shame they couldn’t be farther away from the blues. We are lousy with red-tail hawks around here. They are beautiful birds, but they are a real threat for my songbirds. I can’t even let my chihuahuas out in the yard unattended!
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