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.
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.
The parent flew to another tree and the owlets followed.
The parent then proceeded to tear out pieces of the chipmunk and feed them to the owlets.
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.
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.
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!
Is this owlet waiting in anticipation of a meal? Is it contemplating joining its sibling by leaving the hole he knows so well?
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.
What is twice as nice as spotting an owlet in a tree hole? Finding out there are two owlets.
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.
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.
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.
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 occasionally turned around in different directions to spy chipmunks, squirrels , etc. that were moving around nearby.
Get out and enjoy nature. It may take you by surprise.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I went to this location after it stopped raining for a short trip. I was lucky. I saw this owl flying over a wetlands being chased by seagulls on my way in. I parked in the parking lot and only walked a very short distance and the same owl it appears flew over my head being chased by gulls. It landed on the beach. There were kite surfers there and it appeared to frighten the owl a few times into short flights. The gulls kept watch on it throughout my time there, flying close to it.
The conditions were very windy. It made it hard to stay still. It was hard to get sharp in focus images. All of these were taken with a 150-600 mm zoom and are heavily cropped. Get out and enjoy nature! There is so much around you if you stop to notice.
Many birds leave the northeastern part of the United States and Canada this time of year and head to warmer locals where finding food is easier. Loons migrate to the Long Island Sound and points south. Most Great Blue Herons and Ospreys have headed south. Can you name a bird that treats New York and New England as their Florida in the winter? One bird is the snowy owl.
Behaviour Around Snowy Owls
Some snowy owls from the Arctic in Canada arrived early this year. Some were seen as early as October. If you hear of them on one beach hanging out multiple days and you don’t see them head to a neighbouring beach. Don’t bring a dog. I have seen them fly off at the sight of one. Keep your voice down. Unfortunately I witnessed a man last year yelling near an owl twice and he caused it to fly off both times. Don’t go too close. Move slowly within eyesight of it and don’t make sudden moves.
Snowy Owl Habits
These birds spend most of their time sleeping during the day. They tend to fly and start hunting right before sunset. Usually they are here from around December through March.
This owl was perched on a huge plastic container of some sort. I don’t know if it is something boats use or if it is industrial debris. Kind of sad, but it is one more sign of how prevalent plastic debris is.
I enjoy seeing the many faces of the snowy owl. Get out and enjoy nature. Follow the rule of trips in wild areas: carry in, carry out.