Owls On the Prowl
Karen and I were ushers at the 8 PM Christmas Eve service and Pastor Chris went up to Karen beforehand and asked what we were going to do on Christmas Day, to which she replied, “Birding.” He was taken aback as he was unfamiliar with the concept of “birding” and couldn’t fathom why we would do it on Christmas Day. I was amused by the fact that a well-educated man was unfamiliar with bird-watching as an avocation – seems like there could be a sermon subject in there somewhere….
Indeed, Karen and I have gone out birding on Christmas Day for the past several years – no-one at home with us to open presents and no-one out on the roads and trails. This past Christmas Day was bitterly cold (1º) so we decided to go look for Snowy Owls from the car and drove about an hour west to the farm fields in Rochelle, IL. Alas, after two hours of driving around and looking at every white clump of snow out there, we headed back home without a single sighting.
Owls fascinate many birders; some search for them almost exclusively. Birding Buddy Matt shared with me how he explores the woods for many, many hours trying to find where owls roost by looking for owl wash on the side of trees and pellets left beneath them. Take a look:
My guess is that Burningnaturephotography (BNP) has an affinity for owls as he’s posted quite a few pictures of owls lately. BNP was up at the “notorious” (his term) Sax-Zim Bog just about a year ago. One of the must-see owls there is the Great Gray and he caught one just as it was taking off from its roost.
BNP is not the only one with owls pics as Sparks shared this beautifully framed picture of a Screech Owl he found in New York.
Back to BNP and Sax-Zim Bog. File it under “I learn something new every day,” he shared a picture of a couple Long-eared Owls and informed me that Long-eared Owls tend to group together, and when they do so it is called a Parliament.
A last pic from BNP of a red-morph Eastern Screech Owl. Note that the Screech Owl pic by Sparks above was of a grey-morph, which is more common.
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What a beautiful array of owl photos! I have only seen a few in my lifetime and they were taking flight when i came upon them.