1/22/2011

Owl Be Seeing You

As we were driving along Hwy# 148, something caught my eye...something that didn't quite belong, and immediately signaled the inner bird alert.
I yelled politely asked John to slow down, and turn the car around immediately whenever it was convenient. Which he did.
Can you see it? (Yes, it's there!)
Having been birding for several years now, my eyes automatically scan the sides of roads, tops of trees, fence lines...looking for shapes that don't quite fit,
as in this case a football sitting on a branch.
A football? That doesn't make any sense! The season ended here ages ago, and besides, a football isn't as fluffy.
Must be, I hope it is, I think it is, turn the car around now!! It's an owl!
As we turned around, I'm reaching for camera and the binoculars (never leave home without them...bird nerd, I know!), so I'm ready when once again we pull up to the spot we were just seconds ago.
Yay!!! Still there!


It's been three or four years since I've had such a good look at an owl...in this case, a Barred Owl. You know the one...you can often hear him calling on an early spring evening..."Who  cooks for you? Who cooks for you?"
They're generally nocturnal, so to see one on a bright Saturday afternoon is a thrill. And this guy, not only did he did he not fly away as soon as we parked the car beside the road, he actually flew closer -
wanted a look at us too it seems!
 And sat patiently while I adjusted the camera, rolled the window down further, and generally acted like an squirrely tourist!
I remember as a child, my mother reciting this nursery rhyme to me:
A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Now wasn't he a wise old bird?

I got it then, and I get it now..and perhaps that's why the owl -any owl - is a such  favourite of mine. They're just so spectacularly special. They have acheived mythical status -they're wise, they're full of magic, they portend great beginnings and great endings. And they sail to sea with pussycats in beautiful pea green boats.
They're truly a hoot.

12 comments:

robin andrea said...

What a wonderful sight that is! Amazing that you saw him, with all that snowy backdrop and bare branches. He seems to almost blend right in, but then suddenly, he stands right out. Beautiful!

Nature ID (Katie) said...

I'm not a wise old bird, so I'll comment. I had to laugh at your exchange with John, as it reminded me too much of me and Andy. I've yet to see an owl out in the wild. Nice photos!

faye said...

Love the owl shots...
not easy to spot , I would have
missed him/ her.

Manson said...

Great spotting! You must have a knack for seeing the invisible. Next year you'll see one on the CBC

jabblog said...

Wonderful shots! I only ever see and hear owls at dusk and through the night hours.

Peter said...

You must have sharp eyesight - I saw nothing and a magnificent photo of the owl.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Your blog is wonderful full of beauties and gorgeous pictures. My compliments!

DUTA said...

The predominant dark and white colors in your pictures have a cool, dramatic effect which is very pleasant to the eye.

The owl is beautiful, and I like your mom's nursery rhyme about its wisdom.

Dave said...

Who's the lucky girl?! Great shots Susan...I am in need of one of those!

Ruth said...

Wow! Good observation skills and photos. I want to find an owl in the woods. I have likely walked obliviously past dozens of them.

Johnny Nutcase said...

these guys are great, love the photos. We've been seeing and hearing a LOT of barred owls lately. Love it! I got a couple shots of one the other day. Glad this guy let you get this photo! He's handsome!

The Early Birder said...

Whow Susan, what a magical wildlife encounter. Well done to the driver for stopping so promptly. FABulous.