Thursday, March 12, 2015

LEOWs!

I made it home from the epic Canada trip on Sunday night at 1 AM. Needless to say, I did NOT want to get out of bed on Monday to go to work. When am I going to win the lottery?  Anyway, I dragged myself to work and was going through routine day when a text message came in from Annie Bird stating that there were 4 Long-eared Owls being seen at a local refuge. Long-eared owls are very interesting. They are not typical owls. They migrate south in winter and set up "roosts" where multiple owls sit together during the day.  They show up in local parks for a few days here and there during migration and occasionally hang out all winter if they find a good spot.

I couldn't miss the opportunity to see 4 owls in the same tree so I swung by Fairmount and grabbed Barbara and headed out to the refuge. We headed down the path where they were reported. Honesty, if there weren't a dozen other people there, we might have walked right past them. We didn't see 4 owls. We saw 5!  I have 4 of  them circled in the photo below and an arrow pointing to the 5th owl.

5 Owls
Here are photos of 2 of them. George Armistead had his spotting scope set up and we used iPhones to snap photos of the 2 that were most visible.

Long-eared Owl


They mostly ignored their adoring fans. Even the dogs didn't bother them. Occasionally, they would open their eyes. As you know, there is a big "rule" in the birding world to not bother owls by getting too close or revealing their exact location but when they roost right along the path in a city park, it is hard to keep secret. Luckily, everyone that went to see them yesterday respected them and kept their distance.

Frozen Refuge
We headed out and left the owls in peace.

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