24
Mar
06

Barred_Owl_March_2006

  Barred_Owl_March_2006 Originally uploaded by Camp Naturalist.

Barred Owl

What a great treat, seeing this barred owl in the trees by the nature center.  It has its eyes closed for most of the time that I’m observing him (or her?). 

Mobbing an Owl

Downy woodpeckers, Black capped chickadees, tufted titmice, and cardinals are some of the birds I see in the area of the owl making loud repeating calls.  It seems strange that birds are putting themselves at risk by being in the immediate vicinity of this predator.  Bernd Heinrich in his book, “One Man’s Owl”, concludes that nocturnal owls usually only attack when their prey isn’t aware of the owl’s approach.  When birds recognize and react to the approach of an owl the owl usually does not attack.  So it seems that birds that make themselves known to an owl during the day may not be putting themselves at as great risk as I first thought.  Heinrich also states that birds that are permanent residents (like the above song birds, woodpeckers, chickadees….) have a great incentive to get the owl out area before nightfall when the song birds are at a greater risk of being eaten in their sleep.    

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