New neighbors

Earlier this spring while I was working outside one evening, I heard an eerie call from deep in the woods. It stopped me in my tracks, since I’d never heard anything like it before. Over the course of the next few weeks, I heard it several more times, occasionally echoed by a similar call coming from even deeper in the trees. I figured it was some kind of owl, but not like any that I’d ever heard. Eventually I decided to do a little digging and discovered that we have a resident (or two) barred owl, which, as it turns out, have a very distinct call.

A couple weeks ago, I actually got to meet one of the new neighbors. I was outside after dark a couple weeks ago, and heard a call coming from close proximity. I pointed the flashlight up just in time to a ghostly, silent figure glide into another tree. I was able to follow it, and caught up when it landed. The owl was on a fairly low, unobstructed branch, so I had a nice view, and even had time to get some binoculars. It sat for many minutes, long enough to have a nice chat. I inquired about what drew them to the area, how the culinary landscape was, and if there were any family plans in the future. As when talking to the dogs, I got nothing more than a blank stare. It was good fun though, and I’m always excited to see a wide variety of flora and fauna in the area. At least until they start eating my flora.

Click here for a sample of what the barred owl sounds like (scroll down a bit).

Copyright Ed Schneider


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