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Thursday, May 15, 2003

Our Owl. one of the

Our Owl. one of the best things about our neighborhood is that there are many large, old trees. and lots of trees means lots of birds (and squirrels, but that's another topic).

we know there are owls in the neighborhood because we hear them all the time. but we had never actually seen any until a couple of weeks ago when we were eating dinner outside and an owl entertained us by flying through the backyard several times and perching for a while to observe us.

yesterday evening i was checking the progress of the figs -- lots and lots of fruit, still probably a couple of weeks to ripen -- and heard an awful lot of bird noise.

"great," i think to myself, "the birds are already fussing over the figs. fat chance we'll get any." so i peered through the leaves to see whether the birds were, in fact, already helping themselves to the figs.

instead, i was very much surprised to see a small owl perched on the back fence, behind the fig tree. the ruckus was being made by a couple of blackbirds and a mockingbird harassing the owl, apparently trying to drive it off. the owl was completely ignoring the other birds.

owl i haven't made a positive i.d., but based on its size -- only about eight inches tall -- i think it may be an eastern screech owl. sorry for the poor photo quality, but once i got within about ten feet i realized just how large and sharp the beak and talons are (despite the relatively small size of the rest of the owl).

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan | Permalink