Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guess Where I Went Before Work this Morning!


I was back to see the owls. Now the story. After last night's tease I set the alarm for well before five, and headed back out before light to see if I could do any better with the owls. I set up a blind, and had the scope dialed in on the nest as I preset the camera and scanned for activity with my bins. This morning the serenade and much more detailed scope view was even better. A returning parent announced a coming arrival with a series of hoots - but then waited for the chicks to perk up before approaching the nest. They started moving a bit and did a bit of stretching before the parent returned. I was mostly obscured in the by the angle of the parent in the blind, but was amazed as I observed the lower feathers spread like a veranda over the nestlings as they fed. Once breakfast (or is it dinner for owls?) was over I broke down my gear and headed back for the truck. As I packed everything up I noticed that there was a bus stop just below the nest on the side of the busy street - one stop down from where I used to wait at times. I made a long loop along the road to see if the view from there was any better. The results tell the tale. A rider was waiting as I grabbed my few shots, he asked what kind of owls are those. I told him and then zoomed in on a couple of the shots to show him the nestling. Hopefully it jump started that guy's day like it did mine!

I'll give them a bit more time as a break, but will try to get back again before they fledge. This owl nest is in a very public and highly trafficked area. I have approached this nest a bit more closely than I normally would - doing so only at the bus stop where humans stand every thirty minutes or so in the mornings. These owls chose the location, and the site has been a successful one for owls and raptors in past seasons. There is a social shortcut trail that cuts almost directly beneath the nest, which I have avoided, but was still being used frequently this morning. These owls are well conditioned to humans, but will still keep an eye on the camera 'eye' when it is aimed at them from such a close range. If anyone decides to try to observe these owls, or similar nests in their area please be considerate of the animals' needs and move on quickly. Or better yet, pull back a ways and view from a scope within a blind. I am thrilled with the images I captured today, but keep reliving the interactions I witnessed through the scope in the hour or so before.

1 comment:

  1. That is so wonderful to see! It's amazing that they have adapted a life style in such close proximity to humans!