Sunday, May 14, 2017

Barred Owls

Only two now, but once they were three.

These young Barred Owls seem confused as to where their nest mate has gone.

Nesting together in the aging ash tree is the extent of what they know and it's just not the same now.

Something draws them forward into the light... footsteps in the forest?

No danger here.

Things are under control as an adult Barred Owl stands guard outside...adults look alike.

No matter how sleepy looking this appears, s/he is aware of the coming and going of creatures on the ground.

The missing sibling is safe, too. This fluffy ball of feathers wandered up the tree in an early exercise of independence.

S/he stares down intently through the leaves of early spring.

This adventurous member of the trio can fly, though its landings are inelegant. Everything is new to this Barred Owl owlet. Remaining motionless is the chosen defense.

John, the property owner who tipped me off to the nest, takes an owlet picture.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

My friend and fellow photographer, Fred Thorne, captured this image of a chick being feed by an adult.

It's evidence of a chipmunk's last few seconds on earth.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

It's two days later now and the two remaining owlets have flown the nest. They still have a lot to learn about being a Barred Owl.

Here the owlet on the left thinks the owlet on the right's foot is food. The mistake was quickly rectified with a sharp peck to the head.

All three will be cared for through the coming weeks as they grow out of their downy owlet feathers. They'll quickly take on a coat of flight feathers on their way to becoming full fledged Barred Owls.

Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley's Guide to Birds