This picture was shot 3/27/97. It is a barred owl that lives on our property. It was watching me this day because it had two baby owls that had just left the nest. One was in a tree, and I suspect the other was somewhere nearby in the undergrowth. Most of the time they ignore me but this day they followed me around. The two babies were hatched in a box I built and nailed to a tree at the edge of the woods. We were able to spy on the family from our porch using our binoculars.
This picture was shot around 3/17/97. I suspect it is the female. She just dropped off a small rodent for her two babies. The box is 15 inches wide. They are called 'barred' because of the vertical bars on their breast.
(11/9/97) The babies have grown. They now treat our woods as if it were theirs. I think they still need to sort out among themselves who is going to inherit the Owl Box. As a result of this page I have been in contact with other owl watchers. I have been told to always exercise caution around owls, respect there space and wear eye protection. When threatened they will attack your eyes.
(1/18/98) Mama Owl is back. Last week we cleaned out the box and put in 'pet store' pine wood chips. Today we noticed that Mama Owl is sitting in the box. We suspect she is sitting on one or more eggs.
(3/4/98) Make that two beautiful owlets. Mom & Dad have there work ahead of them. These two are 'eating machines'.
(3/24/98) With less than a week (my estimate) left in the box.
The owlets are very interested in the outside world.
(3/27/98) Only one owlet left in the box. I walked around in the woods. Up till now the owls have never shown more than a passing interest in me, but this afternoon with there owlet somewhere on the ground and vulnerable they pulled out all the stops. It started with continuos escort, at no time was I alone. Beak snapping and fluffing of breast feathers was next. When I started to approach an area guarded by the second parent, my owl escort started jumping up and down flapping it's wings. At this point I made a hasty retreat. The whole episode lasted less than 5 minutes. I would not want to hurt my owl friends, or even upset them. I will return in a few days when the owlets are safe in the trees.
(3/29/98) The box is now empty. The second owlet has made his move. Today I also spotted owlet number one high (about 40 feet) in a tree. Not doing any fancy moves but looking pretty cool.(4/22/98) For the first time since they left the nest I spotted both owls on a near by branch. It has been so long since they left the nest we were afraid that one of them had been eaten. We only recently realized that we were hearing two owletts at the same time. But hearing two is one thing but actually seeing them filled out hearts with joy.