I planned to complete my January bird feeder survey with images of something other than the common, everyday visitors. I’ve seen a Cooper’s Hawk hunting my “fly-through restaurant” on two occasions and envisioned that raptor in my finale. Wishful thinking. Hawk visits are sporadic and unpredictable, and the opportunity never materialized. I was forced to dig a few images from my archives, taken around this time of year, in the same backyard setting.
Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to see a master falconer and environmental educator at work. The program, “Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience” by Lorrie Schumacher, featured several species of hawks and owls, native and exotic. I locked in on one bird in particular, a Barn Owl, because it’s a native species that I have yet to see in the wild.
Meet “Oliver” the Barn Owl.
Lorrie, Master Falconer, and Oliver the Barn Owl
Barn Owls hunt open habitats at night for mice and other small mammals. Daytime retreats and nesting sites include natural cavities and abandoned barns, silos and other structures. Despite their worldwide distribution, they, like many wildlife species, are vulnerable to habitat degradation and loss.
Spring in the North, you gotta love it! Galleries of world class images can’t fully capture the moments; there are too many intangibles whirling around, evading descriptive words and fancy gear. The last 72 hours have left me with a flood of memories, some made a bit more lasting with visual reminders. Mom would have loved this post!
This is a follow-up to a recent post on a resident pair of Bald Eagles that are cruising the airways for carrion. In this case, I was able to capture one of the pair in flight as it circled prior to coming in for a meal on a road-killed deer. The site is active farmland, planted in a cover crop. It’s not far (as an eagle flies) from a small reservoir.