Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A New Predator

Just as I'm getting used to the Cooper's Hawk hanging around and intimidating the feeder birds, a new predator (and a new life bird!!!!) shows up this morning. A Barred Owl was sitting in the apple tree looking down at the bird feeders.

A few Cardinals and a mourning dove were warily hanging around as I went out to fill the feeders. The owl didn't mind my presence and allowed me to talk to him and get up close and personal for photo opportunities.

I came home at lunchtime and he was still perched in the same place. And quite a few birds were around seeming almost oblivious of him as they flew to and from the feeders just feet away from him. They would fly past him and perch just a couple of branches away and the owl just sat there.

This squirrel was real funny though. He would climb in the tree and get closer and closer to check the owl out. Then approach him from another angle. I guess he finally figured out the owl wasn't in the mood to cause any harm.

After work tonight, he was still in the yard, but had moved 15 feet away to the redbud tree. I didn't see any feathers on the ground so it doesn't look like he ate any of the little birds. It was dusk and he finally took off. How awesome to see such a huge wingspan on a relatively small bird. I think I read that the wingspan can be up to 3-1/2 feet.