Owlet is Catching Prey

The ongoing saga has been will the barred owlet catch prey on its own. I have witnessed it catching bugs on its own, but nothing else yet. I guess he has to start somewhere.

After the owlet caught a bug on its own, the parent came by and gave it another bug. I am wondering if these are cicadas?

After I saw the owlet catch a bug on his own, one of the parent owls came by and briefly dropped off another bug. The owlet is still making loud screeching sounds though, which will not help him trying to catch other prey such as chipmunks.

These pictures were right before sunset in the dark forest. They have a lot of noise in the photos.

Hopefully the owlet will be able to learn to not give itself away and catch prey that will keep him satisfied. Is that a cicada or beetle he is eating?

Last Owlet Standing

The last man standing is the last person to be left doing something. It appears the other two owlets are hunting on their own. You only hear this owlet screech and boy does it screech loud. The owlets seem to make that noise when they are hungry. Many times I see the parents come by after they have screeched for a time period with food. It is still relying on the parents to feed it, so it’s the last one relying on the parents a lot for food. The parents are still bringing by insects and small animals to feed it. I have been worrying it seems to be taking this one longer than the others to hunt.

The most detailed picture I think I have gotten yet. If you look above the ph in photography on the owl you will see a bug hitching a ride.
It was looking around a lot, which looks like it is interested in catching something. These owls are usually in darker areas of the woods.

It is flying tree to tree, so that is a good sign. What do you think? Is it a late bloomer that needs more time or could it have an issue?

Feeding Time

I placed another tick in a box last night. I was beginning to think I would never see an owl feed their babies. They seemed to shy away from doing that within eyesight of me. Then, last night I saw and heard them in all one areas again.

Mother perhaps with prey.

The one parent flew to the same tree as the children. I could not tell if it had someone, but someone I was with said they saw it was holding a chipmunk. If you look carefully under the branch you see dangling legs.

Parent with two of the three owlets visible.

The parent flew to another tree and the owlets followed.

Tearing up the chipmunk.

The parent then proceeded to tear out pieces of the chipmunk and feed them to the owlets.

Two were very interested and were nearby. The third was higher up.

They don’t always do this within view. Sometimes it is high up in the tree tops with leaves blocking the view. I was so happy to see this tonight. Owls are predators. It is what they do to survive.

Singing Owlets

Surprise! There are three owlets. After only hearing them for about a week, but not seeing them, I found them today. They were all together on the same branch with good views from a couple of different places nearby.

They appear to be singing.

A parent was in a neighbouring tree. They were probably begging for food. I was hoping to see a parent feed them and I knew at least one of them was hunting nearby. But once again a thunderstorm was approaching .

I am happy I at least got to see the three of them together and I hope I am lucky enough in the future to see a parent feed them. Enjoy your week!

Owlet at Sunset

Is this owlet waiting in anticipation of a meal? Is it contemplating joining its sibling by leaving the hole he knows so well?

Owlet in tree hole before it left the nest.

I only had a short window this year to catch the owlets at the tree hole. One left the nest the next day and the other I believe a day after that. I could only get there with about one hour or so before sunset so I took advantage of what I had. Enjoy short breaks from having your nose to the grindstone.

Two Owlets

What is twice as nice as spotting an owlet in a tree hole? Finding out there are two owlets.

Second baby is in the hole.

The day after I spotted one in the hole, there was one high up in the same tree, and another one in the hole, so definitely two.

Baby owl power napping.

This is the one who was high up in the same tree with their nest hole. I suspect he climbed the tree, however I did see him flying branch to branch the next day.

Mother or Dad? I tried to make this one look like an old photo. The light was not great that day.

The mother owl usually flies down to a lower branch for a couple of minutes before flying back to a higher branch. I do not hear the “Who cooks for you?” sound people say barred owls usually make. She or he usually make half a who around the babies. I guess it is owl baby talk.

These two seemed to have left the nest quickly. I passed that tree two times every time I went there and prior to my last post I did not see an owlet peeking out. Would have wished for more days to see them at the tree hole, but I will take what I can get. Go slow and be aware when walking in the woods, you never know what you can miss.

Owl Hunting

If I close my eyes and pretend to sleep it will lure the other critters into a false sense of security.
I see someone climbing a neighbouring tree.
OMG!!!!!! Owl!!!!!!!
I’ve got to get a closer look at this human. Did you get good shots?
Learn from the master.

Barred Owl on Low Branch

One evening last week I hiked on a trail and was taken aback by the fact I saw him not far from the trail on a low branch to a tree very close to me. I almost missed him. I backed up and took these pictures, then walked away. I think he was faking sleep because he appears to be in hunting mode.

He gives me the one eye from time to time. He never flew off while I was there.

He occasionally turned around in different directions to spy chipmunks, squirrels , etc. that were moving around nearby.

Before sunset light in the woods is tricky. You either get an owl that is too much in the shadows or one where parts of it and the background are too light. Someday I will learn photoshop so I can do photo stacking.

Get out and enjoy nature. It may take you by surprise.

Straggler

This straggler missed his flight. It appears he will be the last to leave the party. He lingered at his winter abode. There were four snowy owls on the beach. On the day these pictures were taken and the previous day, he was the only owl sighted. Have his three other beach mates started their journey back to the far north Canadian Arctic?

When I arrived he flew along the shore ahead of me and landed on this tree branch. He was there when I left.

I asked him where his friends were. I told him it might be time to head north soon. I hope his internal clock works well. A fellow female photo buff told me she went later and could not find him. Did he listen to me? I doubt it. They do fly between neighbouring beach areas.

Lots of different birds in the midst of migration to catch this owl’s attention.

All these photos are taken with a long lens and cropped significantly.

About a minute. That’s all I had with this light. Before and afterwards it was dark and cloudy. It was the best minute of my day. Appreciate even small time blocks of sunshine. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Eastern Screech Owl

What do on your week off when you have a bad cold and don’t want to spread your germs? For me I spent the last two days of my vacation driving up and down rural roads looking at tree holes for owls.

Screech owl eyes slightly opened

One one rural road I kept hearing a call of a saw whet owl. I felt like it was teasing me. I have heard they usually hang out at our eye level, but I had no luck and was not going to walk on private property to search further. I did know the direction it was coming from.

He was enjoying the sunlight. I would think the cold wind would have bothered him though.
The photos before this one he was in the top hole. Then he went inside the tree for a few minutes and then appeared at the bottom hole. This owl has a townhouse with two decks!

On another rural road that I drove up and down searching the holes I found one occupied by a screech. Screech owls are very small. Notice they block almost the entire tree hole and blend in with the tree so they are hard to spot.

It was a very windy day and the clouds came in so the lighting conditions also were not optimal. It was hard to keep my camera steady and this was near the top of a high area. I hope to return to this spot in the future hoping the wind level is less.

When you can,

go slow and stop along the way. You never know what you will find on rural roads.

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