Barred Owl Visit

Any day with an owl visit feels like a lucky day.

Last evening as Jim and I ate dinner on our deck, the sun was dropping in the sky behind the trees. A squirrel broke the peace, screaming a few feet away from us. There are a number of neighborhood cats that roam, so we often hear a squirrel or bird sound the cat alarm. The squirrel was persistent and I looked into the trees to locate it. On a branch 15 feet away and above my head was a grey tail hanging down. That was no squirrel tail — it was an owl!

The tail I saw first, with its beautiful distinct bars.

The angle of the sun and the deck screening made photos tricky, but Jim was patient and got several. Click any photo to open the gallery and see more detail.

Soon the squirrel alerted the robins, who took up the chatter. They scolded and dive-bombed the owl a few times, brushing their claws through the owl’s feathers. The owl remained unperturbed, though at a point it turned its head to face down its harassers.

While Jim watched, the owl stretched a wing out, and then swept the wings up and back while spreading its tail. The setting sun and screening added a lot of sparkle to these photos.

As we fell asleep later, we heard the owl call, reassuring us that it was still in the yard.


16 thoughts on “Barred Owl Visit

  1. The Belmont Rooster

    AWESOME! Owls are amazing creatures. Sometimes a pair will come to the trees next to the house but normally they are down along the trail. I can always tell when the male brings food to the female because he will call to her before he gets to their nest. After she answers, he comes to the nest then they really start carring on… Thanks for sharing your great photos!

  2. Doug Herman

    We used to take a tape recorder with this owl’s haunting call on it into the field at night. A wooded area. We would sit and play it then turn it off. Replay it and play it again. They would call back and looking up we would often see them in the trees above us.

  3. jim fetig

    Be happy that it didn’t have a territorial dispute with one of its brethren. I’ve been kept up all night with the question, “Who cooks for you?”

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I had that happen once. Seemed like all night long, every few minutes, someone called out. I guess if I’m gonna be awake all night, that’s one of the better reasons. πŸ™‚

  4. Flying Squirrel

    Beautiful, always fun to see these guys. We have a barred owl and a great horned owl that alternately try to occupy the territory of my backyard. And then occasionally we’ll hear a screech owl when the other two are not around. I’ve only SEEN the great horned, though.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Right! When we had a great horned visit last year, we didn’t hear it at all. And cool to hear a screech owl. As far as I know, I haven’t heard one. Thanks for taking a look.


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