Whoooooo’s There??

On Tuesday morning I gave the kids to go ahead to get themselves into the car as I grabbed my cup of coffee in preparation for a morning at co-op. Shortly after they all trooped into the garage I heard screams and yelling and then Abigail burst back into the house with the news that there was an owl out there! He must have sneaked in early in the evening because i know I shut the door no later than about 6:30 the night before. In retrospect, since Jay was out of town, I am so glad our unknown visitor didn’t make creepy sounds in the night which I realize now I would have had to investigate on my own – I don’t think I’d have enjoyed the surprise at all.  Just imagine being wakened from a sound sleep by strange calls from the garage, creeping out there half asleep still, clad in only your jammies to be startled and frightened by a large owl. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!! Now I’m scaring myself, so I must stop. But it all does sounds rather Halloween-ey, doesn’t it??

Though it made us a couple minutes late for our first classes, I am glad we grabbed the camera and took a few shots of this guy who sat perched comfortably (I assume) on a package of Christmas pillows I store on a very high shelf. He looked down at me in a most condescending manner but was nice enough to face the camera so I could get a pretty good view.

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As Providence would have it, two days later we enjoyed a wonderful presentation on raptors at the Heard Museum’s outdoor amphitheater, complete with live birds, including owls. Abigail relayed our tale to one of the presenters after the show who confirmed that we had most likely given shelter to a screech owl, a conclusion that pictures and information I have dug up seems to confirm. (Cousin Scott, do you concur?)

While digging, I came across this page which advertises an “Owl Shack” (baby) – evidently for the mere price of $50 one can “keep” an owl in their backyard. Maybe we should give serious thought to this idea given our other “friends” who visited this past winter??

2 Comments

  1. Scott Fraser
    Oct 18, 2008

    no doubt, that’s a Screech Owl! That’s a great bird to get to see! Based on where you live, and bill color, it’s probably the Eastern Screech Owl as opposed to Western.

    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Eastern_Screech-Owl.html

    I have personally only seen “live” Screech owls a few times – they are more often heard than seen. We have one now that calls in our meadow almost nightly. It’s an awesome call (you should be able to find audio files on the link above). They have a descending whinny and an ethereal trill.

    One morning I found a “fresh” Screech by the side of the road taking the kids to school. It ended up on my desk at work:

    http://flickr.com/photos/frasers/352790061/

    And later was added to a museum collection. I am curious how your visitor got out of the garage?

  2. Angie
    Oct 18, 2008

    Man, that Jay misses all the fun.