Thursday, August 16, 2012

Owls



Last Saturnday morning, I was taking the kitchen compost out to the bin and I kept hearing owls. I've heard them before but never really investigated further. This time they were loud and clear. I glanced up into the tall thicket of hackberry trees behind our garage and there they were perched on a high branch. We were getting ready to go to Huntsville so I didn't have time to get a proper photo. I grabbed my camera and took this shot which is still dark even after considerable lightening in Photoshop.

Last fall, I was at work and Michael was home. He had raised the windows because it was cool outside. He was sewing and said that he kept hearing voices outside the dining room window. It sounded as though people were having a conversation. This isn't that unusual because there is a dentist's office right across the street and people are often talking out in the parking lot. He kept hearing the voices and it sounded as though they were outside the window in the garden. He peeked out the window and a pair of owls were sitting in the Yoshino cherry tree, apparently carrying on a conversation. 

I don't know that much about owls and don't really know if it is a good thing to have them in your garden but so far I don't have any complaints. I've heard stories about them snatching pets but our two outside cats seem to be fine. It is always exciting to find a new animal or bird in the garden!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

12 comments:

  1. They look like Barred Owls from the looks of your picture. They are great to have in your garden. They eat moles, voles, mice etc. They wouldn't take a cat or dog. I think that is an old wives tale. It would have to be a very hungry owl to take a domestic animal. I have heard these conversations between owls before. I used to live by a wooded area. I would tell my children they were wood spirits talking. :)

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  2. I have Barred owls in our area, love them!! There is a website where you can play audio clips of different owl calls. We had a couple fighting over territory and it sounded like dogs barking.
    I like having the owls to take care of the moles, voles and rabbits.

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  3. http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Strix&species=varia
    this is one site...there is another, can't find it now.

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  4. very cool - we used to have a chinese pug and several times at night when i was walking him in the backyard we had a barn owl that would swoop down to see if he looked like something to eat. owls are really interesting. look around the ground under the tree and you might find owl pellets with bones in them.

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  5. very cool - we used to have a chinese pug and several times at night when i was walking him in the backyard we had a barn owl that would swoop down to see if he looked like something to eat. owls are really interesting. look around the ground under the tree and you might find owl pellets with bones in them.

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  6. How cool! Sadie the dog might not like them, but I think they're an awesome addition to the garden! Plus, anything to removes a few chipmunks, squirrels or voles gets my vote!

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  7. I have a great horned owl around where I live. I've had it swoop out of the darkness at my truck a couple of times with it's talons coming at my windshield. Scary sight. Love to hear it calling at night outside my window.

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  8. There use to be a HUGE one that hung out in my back yard. He roosted on the corner of the house and easly had a 3 foot wing span. I only saw him at night I've never seen him during the day. Great shot catching them together like that.

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  9. Lucky you, Philip ! They're beautiful. I haven't heard the owl around here in a long time. I used to hear them in the middle of the night if I woke up. They aren't usually around when it's light out. Why don't you consider building them a nesting box ? Maybe they'll stay around for you.

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  10. That is wonderful. I like your photo even if it is dark.

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  11. Beautiful.

    Your cats should be safe. I don't think an owl would touch them. Being a wild animal, they wouldn't risk certain injury tackling kitty who would quickly turn into a ball of 'fury' which they'd wish they hadn't gone near.

    I think they're great to have in the garden.

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