Thursday, June 24, 2010
For years finding a Barred Owl in Washington State has eluded me.
I have had friends take me to their "cannot miss" spots.
I have had folks on the trail tell me "We just saw one about five minutes up the trail".
I have used tapes during census patrols. Watched looked and listened.
Wednesday after work I visited St Edwards State Park ( see my January 1 2010 entry) for a walk-about.
Climbing a steep hill I heard a raspy squeal from high in a tree. I paused and turned my head up and around.
There , sitting about 20 feet away , an adult Barred Owl!
I was just sitting there, its back to me. I continued to hear a few squeals, which I now knew was likely a juvenile. Behind me I could hear a few soft deep short hoots.
The owl gave a few looks around. It clearly looked at me, looked at the hill above me and was checking out the ravine floor below it.
It is not unusual to see Barred Owls out in daytime. This one likely needed to do extra hunting.
I was thrilled to finally see this bird here at home. Even better, I was able to share the sighting with a few other people passing by.
One woman said, "I would have missed that". SO true, often a lucky glance gets you the prize.