April 7, 2014

Happy Family

Barred Owl
Well, I couldn't resist going back to visit the barred owl family!  They're absolutely fascinating to watch. We have so much material that the SDP Editor-in-Chief lifted our standard guidelines and today we're having a Monday Special, posting not one but three photos plus a video. 

I arrived at the park early in the evening Saturday when the sun was still up (these owls, though, like to roost in the shade, so it will forever be a lighting challenge with them).  Two other photographers as well as a very pleasant local couple were on hand watching the family.  The adult owl (we're all assuming it's the mother) didn't seem to mind us at all. (This is a stark contrast to the behavior of red shouldered hawks which will dive bomb interlopers until they leave the nest area.) The mama owl sat in a tree by herself, and at one point flew to a branch just 10-15 feet from me.  Isn't she gorgeous?!  Her markings blend right in with the tree and surrounding area.  She didn't appear upset that her two little ones were crying for dinner in two separate trees nearby.
Barred Owl
This fuzzy little guy was making most of the racket. Absolutely adorable, isn't he?! I can't help but smile looking at him.  He was quite curious, craning his head down to watch those who were watching him.  At one point, he even splayed his entire fluffy body on the branch and peered below to see what was going on. 
Barred Owl
And, this is mama with the other little one.  She flew over for a visit and the baby seemed fairly content since she was so close.  That is, until its sibling would cry (as you can hear on the video below) then, occasionally, this one would join the pathetic cacophony wondering when dinner would be served. 
It's amazing something so fuzzy and cute can make such a screeching sound. The SDP crew is having a great time with this family.  So much, that we ended up going back last night too.  We have oodles of pics to go through…including some close encounters with mama and one of the babies. It's remarkable to experience this young bird of prey family up close and in the wild.  An added bonus to all this has been meeting a really nice couple who are locals and are as excited about observing the owl family as I am.  Welcome to SDP, Janie and Joe!  Hope everyone has a terrific Monday.

10 comments:

Nancy J said...

Super, totally super, and then the baby calling for its supper, why not, he says. I can see why this is a truly wonderful opportunity for you all. Cheers, Jean.

We are: clamco said...

So incredible! I am in awe. Thank you for these beautiful photos. What a great way to start the week.

Kate said...

Your experience photographing this family and the results from your camera are really quite remarkable.

LOLfromPasa said...

Fantastic shots. You have inspired me to search out an owl that has been spotted near where I live. Hope I can find it.

Kay said...

What a treat to see - and hear - this family. The mother is absolutely beautiful and the babies are fluffy little dumplings. We rarely see owls except at a distance, on the wing, at dusk so it's a treat to see ones so close and with this much clarity. I look forward to seeing more of them!

Lois said...

I'm so glad you went back. These are absolutely wonderful pictures and I enjoyed watching the video too!

Haddock said...

Wonderful.
Oh yes some of them do screech so loud..... unbelievable for their size.

Lowell said...

These are super pics and love the video. We had a couple of these who stopped to visit our oak tree for a brief period. Fun to watch!

Jack said...

These are exceptional, SRQ. You are fortunate to see them in daylight and to have the mother and its offspring together to observe. And, I loved the video . . . why don't I ever think to do videos? Maybe because most of the time I don't have a tripod with me.

Thanks for your kind words about the UConn victories. You are a good sport. BTW, four of the five starters on the women's team have 3.0 averages or better, and it is seven out of 9 for the entire team. Not as good for the men's team, but there is a different demographic there. Still, Napier will graduate in three weeks and he has had decent grades.

Brian King said...

Very handsome owls!