My first owl

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I saw my first owl today!!! It was huge – a bee-oo-tiful Great Horned Owl. As I was following a faint trail through the land of white spruce and red squirrels in the Weaselhead Flats, one of the red squirrels sounded its alarm call and made me look up into one of the spruce. Woah! Big owl! I took a picture striped with closer branches.

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When I tried to get closer, the owl flew away, showing me the incredible size of its wings. It disappeared. I wandered through the spruce, photographing squirrels and chickadees and nuthatches. At some point, a Blue Jay flew through the trees and shortly after, piercing shrieks cut through the squirrel chatter. I homed in on the shrieks and the Blue Jay and the owl who was being shrieked at. The owl flew away, but I saw it perch not too far off. I left lots of space between us and it let me photograph its two profiles and the back of its head.

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Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus, Grand-duc d’Amรฉrique) are one of the most common owls in North America. They do not migrate, but settle year round in a variety of habitats – deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics. Fun facts courtesy of All About Birds.

26 Comments

    1. Thanks Haunani :-). Glad you enjoyed my little adventure. I always have a wonderful adventure when I enter the woods and leave human sounds for squirrel and bird chatter. Seeing the owl felt a bit like entering a fantastic story.

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    1. Thanks for appreciating my owl encounter Christy :-). I really enjoyed your recent post about Spotted Owls. So cute! And your story about spending summers in rural India with your grandparents was sweet and interesting.

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  1. That is so neat. I once came across one as I was pushing my way through thick and tangled brush. I used to do that kind of thing just for fun. When I was young. What happened??! But I digress.

    What strikes me over and over when I read your wonderful posts is your affinity to animals. I know that usually I’m just not tuned in enough to the creatures around me to note a distress call in the first place. If I did I would assume I was the source and ignore it. Makes me wonder whether I’m walking under owls and am simply oblivious!

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  2. How lovely that you came upon an owl! I used to walk on overgrown trails a lot when I was a teenager. And I got momentarily lost a few times :-). I still do it once in a while, if a trail is too busy or a little deer trail beckons… or just because it feels and smells different than a well worn trail.

    When I was younger, I liked to move fast, so I rarely noticed animals. Now I often notice animals when I’m still. I hear a sound or I see movement. When I walk slowly, I’m often scanning for motion or straining to hear sounds. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit like a hunter and a touch obsessive! So I switch to chilling with the plants mode and appreciating what is in front of me. I often wonder how many still and quiet animals are in the trees, bushes and grass around me.

    It seems to me that you notice a lot. There are so many plants and animals in your paintings and so many beautiful details :-).

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