Tag Archives: barn owls

It’s all about the wings…

Nearing the end of their stay in our box, the owlets are climbing with great care to the top. 

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Against the backdrop of other winged creatures,

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flexing their wings,

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retreating to security inside

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or flying into the night.

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I am reminded of a quote given to each of our adult children with a copy of the family history:

‘Every child deserves two things:  one is roots, the other is wings.’

We have provided roots – a barn owl box made of 100 year old barn wood – and their parents have given them wings – literally and figuratively!   God speed little ones!

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Filed under Family history, Nature

Meanwhile back at the ranch…episode 25

Admittedly less attentive than in past years, we have fretted about the barn owls.  The usual chirping sounds as they fly have been absent; a silhouette atop the owl box missing in the twilight of the evening. 

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Listening for them, we have heard, in the distance,  the hooting of the Great Horned Owl also native to these parts, a natural predator of our owls.  

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Have the barn owls moved on to a safer domain, leaving our box uninhabited for this season???

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Working this past week to clear the wedding path behind the hedge, I imagined (heard?) ever so slight noises coming from the box. 

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Dedicating my labors to making their surroundings as enticing as possible, I vowed to sit outside that evening from the first hint of dusk until I could no longer see the box in the dark…watching…listening…

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and…they came in the twilight!!!…one swooping in silently over the yard, wings at full spread, the other from over the field.  BUT, flying directly into the box – no silent contemplation on the roof as in years past…AND they are quiet, no chirping to announce their arrival.  Are these simply a different pair with their own behavior pattern, OR could the hoot owls be causing them to keep a lower profile this year???  I wish we could communicate – I would ask.

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Actually, I choose to think that we do communicate in a fashion:  the next morning a ‘thank you’ left under the box…perhaps in appreciation of my efforts with the landscape!

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*Great Horned Owl:  photo of reproduction of The Original Water-Color Paintings by John James Audubon for The Birds of America

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Filed under Exteriors, Nature

Meanwhile back at the ranch…episode 24

waiting…

purest white against greening meadow grass, the egret enjoys good hunting…

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remnants of last years owl meals cleaned away, replaced with new shavings…

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last night’s sunset silhouettes the waiting box…

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the past two Januarys have provided our first sightings of new occupants for the owl box…today is the 29th…will they appear…???

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drawing from

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Filed under Nature, Seasons

Flown

Though no longer providing shelter, the owl box has now become a favorite landing spot along with the nearest oak tree.  Regular take offs and landings take place each evening, lasting well into the night with all the accompanying chatter of youngsters at play.

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With the moon inching its way toward fullness over the last few nights,

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we have been treated to amazing views of white heart-shaped faces atop the box, swiveling in search of dinner.

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Next day, the ground below the box is salted with white, downy feathers.

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What fate awaits the gopher foolish enough to surface so near the box…???

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Filed under Garden, Nature

Overcrowding at the Wolery!

An update on happenings at the Wolery is long overdue!

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My last report on March 30 was one of cautious optimism: this year’s owl couple was still in residence…much has happened since!!!

Not only one owl…

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but three…and a fourth caught poking its head out in this light-enhanced photo!!!

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Now imagine four owls atop the box, a fifth head emerging…and a sixth flying by delivering dinner…the menu:  a largish rat dangling by its tail!!

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Our evenings are filled with the sights and sounds of their comings and goings; our dreams interrupted by the fledglings crash-landing on the roof of our house while perfecting their flying skills.  One morning before dawn, a crash…I turned to see a big baby gripping the muntins of the family room window after flying into the glass – not so hard to understand when I realized the Wolery can be seen clearly from that spot through the other side of the house.  As if to underscore the overcrowding in the box, apparently I interrupted a nap in the oak tree as I gardened today, then watched an owl fly off to a more distant tree.

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Filed under Garden, Nature

Postcard from the Wolery

 Heartbroken last year on March 14, finding a broken egg on the ground below the box, we have been tentative with the barn owls this year…perhaps not wanting to become too attached. 

Occasionally leaving lovely reminders of their presence,

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they remain in residence.  Last evening at dusk they were particularly noisy, inviting us to come out to watch their flurry of comings and goings from the box.  With hope in our hears we wait to see…………..

‘grief is the price we pay for love’

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Filed under Nature, Postcards

Postcard from the owl box

still watching for owls………….

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not Northern Flickers!!!!

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Filed under Nature, Postcards