Whooo is cold?

As I walked around the yard late yesterday afternoon, covering a few plants for the cold air that would be arriving sometime during the night (it was 22ºF when I was out there taking photos, but only 10ºF as I write this today at 10AM), a movement in the trees startled me.


An owl! A barred owl to be precise, probably the same one that we've seen three times in the last couple of weeks. The thought that an owl is getting comfortable in my garden is really exciting to me! This bird was getting verbally harassed by the smaller birds, but was half-heartedly hunting for ground prey and didn't seem to mind me walking around with the camera.

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I started taking photos from the deck...





...but then moved down into the yard, with the pond between me and the owl.




The lighting was terrible from that side (post processing reveals that the lens I was using is not very high quality. Blech!) so I moved to the other side of the tree...


This is how I feel: sleepy!


I never saw the bird find a meal, but it didn't look quite awake yet so perhaps wasn't really trying yet. It got scared off when I made too much noise with some plastic sheeting.

I'm going to be keeping my eyes open for this bird, as owls are some of my favorite garden visitors. I wonder if I have any trees that are suitable nesting sites for barred owls? I don't think so, but that would be fantastic!

One thing that I really love about winter: easier birdwatching!

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Maywyn Studio  – (January 7, 2015 at 11:55 AM)  

Beautiful pictures! Please, name the owl and keep us updated with his or her progress. This is exciting to see such a beautiful and charming bird in a garden. Hope your cold is better

Chickadee Gardens  – (January 7, 2015 at 12:07 PM)  

Wow, those are incredible photos! My post tomorrow is all about backyard birds and I have to say, these are impressive and exciting shots. Congrats!!

outlawgardener  – (January 7, 2015 at 1:07 PM)  

Very exciting to have an owl frequent your garden. Gorgeous pictures of this handsome bird! Sorry about your cold temps! Have you ever considered moving west?

Mark and Gaz  – (January 7, 2015 at 3:24 PM)  

So lucky to have a resident owl in your yard Alan! Such a regal looking bird!

Curbstone Valley Farm  – (January 7, 2015 at 11:23 PM)  

Alan, those photos are fabulous! How polite of the owl to sit still for you. I live in the middle of an owl infested woodland, with Great Horn Owls, Western Screech, and Saw-Whets. The calls at night can be deafening at times, but I almost never actually see them. I'm so envious! If you're not sure you have any suitable trees, you could build your new friend a nest box...

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