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The Mystery of Owls

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Sunday, December 26, 2010 

There's something about an owl that defies explanation. The feeling that can encompass you upon finding one of these elusive dwellers of the night can be almost spiritual. That is one way to say it. Or you could just say, owls are ####ing awesome.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at the desk I am sitting at now when I heard a noise from the backyard. It was the song of a Western Screech-owl. The adrenaline shot up my spine as I ran like a fool around my house throwing on boots and jacket, and grabbing my binos and a small flash light. It was a rather uncoordinated effort and I'd be lying if I said I didn't bump into a wall. I crept outside, around the side of the house and heard the owl. I snuck closer. The owl spied me before I could see it and flew to the neighbor's yard and continued its song. The rush I felt was euphoric.

An owl in my yard is great. An owl in the mountains is even better. I love hiking around in the summer nights and listening for Flammulated Owls. It is easily one of my favorite things to do and in the right spots, on the right nights, they are seemingly everywhere.

I could tell stories about a dozen Long-eared Owls roosting together in the cold winter, Saw-whets calling with their incessant repetition, a Northern-Pygmy starting down at me, Barn and Short-Eared Owls hunting at Farmington Bay, and the massive Great-Horned Owls silhouetted against dark skies, bellowing out their mastery of the night. These are some of the great experiences of birding in my life and in every case served as a reminder that there is so much more to this world than initially meets the eye.

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Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

Agreed Jeff...they are mysterious, they hide in plain sight.


December 28, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

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