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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nemsis Bird

For years finding a Barred Owl in Washington State has eluded me.

I have had friends take me to their "cannot miss" spots.


I have had folks on the trail tell me "We just saw one about five minutes up the trail".


I have used tapes during census patrols. Watched looked and listened.

Wednesday after work I visited St Edwards State Park ( see my January 1 2010 entry) for a walk-about.

Climbing a steep hill I heard a raspy squeal from high in a tree. I paused and turned my head up and around.

There , sitting about 20 feet away , an adult Barred Owl!

I was just sitting there, its back to me. I continued to hear a few squeals, which I now knew was likely a juvenile. Behind me I could hear a few soft deep short hoots.

The owl gave a few looks around. It clearly looked at me, looked at the hill above me and was checking out the ravine floor below it.

It is not unusual to see Barred Owls out in daytime. This one likely needed to do extra hunting.

I was thrilled to finally see this bird here at home. Even better, I was able to share the sighting with a few other people passing by.

One woman said, "I would have missed that". SO true, often a lucky glance gets you the prize.


  1. What a wonderful sight! Don't you just find owls fascinating? Heard quite often, but very rarely seen.

    Funny, I had an owl experience, too, the first time I went to the Big Woods. I never saw the owl, but I could hear the hoo hoo hoo. Two crows were calling and diving, obviously harassing it because their babies were near. I caught the irony immediately. After all, it's usually the crows who are on the receiving end of the harassing.

    So, congratulations on your sighting. So much pleasure these rare glimpses bring to us.

  2. Reading your blog makes me want to go out and hike again, something that has to wait. But sometimes owls come and perch on the telephone poles in the evenings -- now you have inspired me to get out there and see what may be there.

  3. Walking and hiking are great. Being aware of the wonders in your own yard, even better

    I hope you are soon on your feet and getting out on adventures.

  4. Crows and Jays are very helpful in finding raptors owls and other predators. They kick up such a fuss, even if no babies present.

    Always listen and watch, they often point out the good things.

  5. I'm envious, Marti.I'm envious, Marti. Great find and very good photo.