Nice evening

catherinet(5 IN)May 6, 2005

Hi all,

Tonight, at dusk, I went out to shut up my chickens. Fortunately, they are in a very protected run. I saw 2 bats circling overhead on the way there, when I happened to notice some movement in a tree. There was a big owl, and a smaller owl! I saw the bigger one last night, and wondered if I might see it again tonight, and sure enough!

The smaller one was about half the size of the larger one.

Would it be too early for it to be a juvenile? Maybe it was a male and female? It's one of those nights, when I'm just totally in awe of nature! :)

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cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

Hi Catherine,
Around here (southeastern Ontario, Canada) some of the great horned owls have half grown chicks already...they nest early. So do the barred owls and long eared owls. So it's very likely a juvenile bird (actually, more than likely...the big owls tend to eat the little owls otherwise...years ago when we were banding saw-whet owls, we saw great horned owls preying on both them and the slightly larger long ears....which in turn ate the saw whets occasionally)
I know what you mean about one of those nights...I had one of those afternoons...a short drive along the river this afternoon showed me great blue herons fishing, pileated woodpeckers displaying, ospreys fishing and tending their nests, a nice ruffed grouse strutting. At home the upland sandpipers were calling on the breeze and establishing their territories...and the harriers were doing courtship flights and getting buzzed by the nesting kestrels. I had about 30 goldfinches hanging around the feeders all day, just coming into full yellow plumage, and the tree swallows have occupied every single nest box I have out for them (24 this year) I have a nice selection of waterfowl nesting this year, as well (Canada goose, mallard, blue and green winged teal, wood duck, hooded merganser, and for the first time that I'm sure of, a pair of ring necked ducks.)
Spring is good.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 11:33PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Cyp,
I didn't get a real good look at them, but we had barred owls here all year, so that's probably what they were. I could hear the smaller making a little call, and it sounded like a youngster. It is so exciting that they're here all year now. They only started coming around a few years ago, and it seemed to only be in the fall, so this has been a real treat to hear them all year round. Our woods is connected with 3 other people's woods, and I'm always tempted to send them all a note, asking if they've seen and heard these incredible birds, and how lucky we are (with the hopes that they'll never mess with their woods!).
My favorite wildlife artist lives in your country. He's over on Vancouver Island. He's Robert Bateman. Have you heard of him?
Your day sounded perfect!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 11:40PM
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cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

Hi Catherine,
I know what you mean about wanting to trade notes with the neighbours...on the concession south of us, old family friends have a farm that is quite different from ours in terms of cover and habitat...they're always getting cardinals and the odd red-bellied woodpecker (uncommon to rare here in this part of Ontario) which makes me envious by times...but my pond and meadows beat theirs any day.
Yes indeed I've heard of Robert Bateman...I've actually been fortunate enough to hear him speak and met him - I have a couple of books of his work he was kind enough to autograph for me.
We seem to have a fair number of good Canuck wildlife artists...it's probably as much to do with the length of our winters as it is the abundance of our wilderness. Have you ever heard of Glen Loates? He hasn't been as active lately, but he did some remarkable work in the '70s and '80s. His site is under rebuild right now, but a Google search should turn up some of his images. Worth checking out.
Enjoy the owls...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 9:26PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Cyp,
You have a pond? That's so neat. I'd love to have one, and even had someone come out to give us info about it....but other expenses keep seeming to crop up.
I met Robert Bateman too! He was at a local art gallery about 8-10 years ago, and I got to meet him, have my picture taken with him, and he signed my books. I really respect his environmental position. He was very personable. My daughter got to meet him too.
I'm lucky enough to own several of his beautiful prints of various birds. I will definitely do a search on that artist that you mentioned. Thanks for telling me about him.
Another nice day in paradise here......this morning, I saw a Baltimore oriole, an orchard oriole, a yellow warbler, a common yellowthroat, a hummingbird, a red bellied woodpecker, brown thrasher, wood thrush, and many of the usuals like Titmice, chickadees, cardinals, song sparrows. Ahhhhhhh......I love this earth!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 2:24PM
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