There’s an unwritten rule about most owl sightings: don’t tell anyone where you saw it. This is to protect the bird from too many people trying to get a look at it because owls are resting during the day and people walking up to their roost talking and taking pictures disturbs that rest. In order to protect information about the owl from being widely disseminated, many birders do not include an owl sighting (including pictures) on their eBird checklist until much later.
Below are some owl pictures I took over the past year that I withheld from the eBird checklist for that trip. How did I come to find them? Most birders don’t feel friends are just “anyone” so the secret hiding places were given to us by our birding buddies. Enjoy these first looks at some local owl sightings:
This little Screech Owl was nesting in the hollow of a broken off trunk. The longer we viewed it, the more of it emerged. Taken March 1, 2023.
We were given specific directions on where to look for this Long-eared Owl just south of downtown Chicago. It was well-hidden in the center of an old pine tree. See the next shot for a better look. Both taken on February 28, 2023.
The Long-eared Owl was buried in the center of a pine tree – anyone walking buy would never have seen it. Knowing just where to look, we still had to search a bit to get a decent look it it – even so, it was very obscured.
So now that I’ve spilled my guts and shared pictures I’m hoping the Owl Police won’t be coming for me.
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