An owl in the backyard

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Exactly one week after I saw my first Great Horned Owl in the Weaselhead Flats, another Great Horned Owl appeared in my backyard. As I was preparing dinner and the evening light was just starting to fade, I looked out the window and saw a large, tree-bark coloured, barrel-shaped bird casually perched on an exposed tree branch. Cool! J and I headed outside and J made gentle hooting sounds to coax the owl to turn its head. When its eyes appeared, I took some photos. It stayed for about two hours. In the fading light, I saw the vague brown silhouette of the owl preening. It mostly stayed still, though 3 and then 5 magpies settled in the tree and squawked at it occasionally.

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25 Comments

  1. Oh my how wonderful!! What a gift! I hope it likes your tree well enough to not only hunt from, but to spend the day sleeping as well! What a treat!!!

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    1. I love owl treats! But I don’t think it would like sleeping in my backyard. I imagine it likes a larger cluster of trees. My backyard only has five trees.

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  2. SQUEEE! It is beautiful! I’m so excited that you got to see it (and just as excited that you took photos so we could see it, too)!

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    1. Yeah, it was pretty cool to be able to get so close to it. And no branches in the way! And it was fun to share the happening with J. I often bird by myself. And glad you felt some of the excitement too!!!

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  3. Those feathers are amazing! (K)

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    1. Great Horned Owl feathers make me think of tree bark. They give me the impression of being animal tree spirits.

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      1. definitely spiritual.

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  4. Fantastic photo, love how it is looking at you. What a wonderful experience, thank you for sharing, I hope you have many more.

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    1. :-D. I like that it is looking right at me while it has its back to me. Wish I could swivel my head like that when I ride my bike.

      I’ve always lived in a city with a lot of pavement and just accepted it. Today, I thought it was kind of strange. All this pavement has had quite an impact on how often humans see animals and what animals they see.

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  5. How beautiful, such a wonderful animal. N.

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  6. Whoa! That is so neat that it just turned up in your backyard! It’s so fluffy too. I wanna pet it.

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    1. I’m pretty impressed that its feathers can handle summers and winters in Calgary. I am curious about what the feathers feel like :-).

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  7. Catherine Johnson October 16, 2015 at 12:03 AM

    Wow that’a big owl. It looks like a carpet. So glad you spotted it.

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    1. It was very nice of the owl to pose for me :-).

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  8. wonderful bird, you were lucky

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  9. Oh my gosh, such beauty. It gives me goosebumps to think you were in the presence of the gorgeous creature.

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  10. Exciting encounter! You got a good shot of him/her despite the fading light. Such lovely feathers, perfect for blending in with trees.

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    1. Glad it didn’t decide to visit a bit later :-).

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