Monday, October 29, 2012
I'm so proud of my wife! A week ago, you could have said, "Look at that semi," and she would have asked, "Where?" Four days following cataract surgery, she was sitting out on the porch and came in to tell me she had spotted an owl. Despite how large it looks in these photos, the owl was quite a ways away and only looks close because of the telephoto lens used to take the pictures.
This is another species that regurgitates pellets. (See the blog post from Oct. 27th.) Owls swallow their prey whole and after about eight hours regurgitate the indigestible bones, feathers, and the like in a compact pellet. They can provide clues as to where an owl habitually roosts if you know what to look for under trees. But, you also need to have a little better idea of what type of habitat they would roost in. You aren't going to find pellets under just any tree.
We saw a barred owl (probably this same one) about a year ago. They are more likely to be active on a cloudy day if you see them during the day at all. Both times we have seen it, the day was very gray and gloomy. Notice how the bill is turned down instead of projecting straight out.
With it's head turned away, you can see the beautiful pattern of it's head feathers. They can turn their heads a phenomenal amount, quite a bit further than straight back behind them. I saw this same bird do that last year.