Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Owls

With the approach of spring (the crocus have bloomed in my yard) Cyndi and I have spent many warm days outdoors. We went to the Deer Flat NWR, the Fort Boise WMA, and Snake River Birds of Prey. The Red-tailed Hawk in the photo above was seen at Snake River Birds of Prey, at the Discovery Park overlook. We stayed until after sunset and three beaver swam out into the river at dusk, then one waddled ashore to size up a tree for chewing. It was too dark and too far away for a photo, but seeing that fat bowling pin shape was mighty entertaining. And, earlier we had run into birders Jay and Heidi. Jay helped us recognize a Savannah Sparrow which I would have mistaken for a Song Sparrow.

Jay also shared with us some highlights of the recent trip to Africa, and recommended Rob's blog as a source of photos and information from the trip.

On Saturday, at the Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area we saw thousands of Snow Geese (photos to follow in a future blog) and encountered my friend and fellow birder Rich as well as this Western Screech-owl. This was the first time I found one on my own, without somebody having found it first and given directions, and the first time I saw one outside of a nest box. Could this be a good sign that I might have more owling success this year than in past years?

Perhaps, because the next day Cyndi and I located this pair of Great Horned Owls, one on the nest, the other waiting nearby, in case anybody needs delivery of take-out food. I uploaded this photo in its full size, so if you click on it, you'll see yellow eyes staring over the soft, feather-lined nest edge. Very cool to see. I took a few quick photos and didn't approach very closely, and quickly retreated to help assure the couple privacy while they patiently wait for leaves to grow.

2 comments:

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures. I love the owls also. I have located two Great-horned owls and a "parliment" of 12 Long-eared owls also. Just a mile from my house we have seen a Great Grey owl twice in the last two weeks. Hope they are nesting nearby and I can locate the nest. Check out my blog for owl and hawk pictures.

the casbah kitten said...

Great owl photos. Love the nesting pair!