Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Owl Mission-Part 6-Barred Owls

Barred Owls are large owls from 16-25 inches long. They have no ear tufts, and have large dark eyes. They are more tolerant than most owls of noise and people. They will sometimes roost near busy roads if the foodsource is present (along country roads where mice, rabbits and even frogs will be) They are a wetlands type of raptor, but you won't find one getting along with a Great Horned. It is its only natural enemy. The Great Horned will kill a Barred if it is in its territory. They are a very vocal owl and its call is quite famous for mimicking "who cooks for you".

I found my first Barred while driving to a party near Seneca about 3 years ago. We (me and Cutti) took a country road that winds through the wetland forests, and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I see something on a utility line. We stop up ahead and turn around. As we came back, we see that it is a barred owl, and it didn't fly off. We didn't have a good camera on us, but knew we would be back to see if he was there again some day. It was, we came back after several days, and discovered him basically in the same place. We were ready with the proper equipment, and stopped our car about 25 feet from him. Again, he did not fly off. We took plenty of shots before he captured something in the ditch and flew into the forest. We came back several more times after that and discovered alot of toads on the road. We were thinking that is what drew him to the line. We go back to see if he is there, year after year, and sometimes find him on his perch. The sad thing is I haven't got any great shots, because of the lighting. He normally doesn't come out til dusk or later, which is tough conditions for a camera. I really need to work on a better shot, after seeing the quality of this post.

Part 7-Long-Eared Owls

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