RAT! It's what's for dinner!
This photo was taken just moments after this barred owl pounced on a rat climbing on that very tree branch. I couldn't believe it! I always imagined owls swooping down and snatching a rodent or rabbit from the ground and carrying it away in its talons. But, this guy landed on this branch...sat there for a minute...swiveled his head once...and then...WHAM! Dinner's ready! Very exciting for this wildlife photographer! I wonder if the owl heard the rat scurrying on the bark from a short distance away and then landed here in preparation for the hunt. Sure makes me glad I'm not a rat. Or an owl having to hunt my dinner.