Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whooooo has more fun than us?

We love owls. We’re surrounded by tall dark evergreens, and have all these woods on our own property, and most nights, and some days, the woods echo with the questioning calls of barred owls, with their “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” calls.

We named our place Owls Haven and Jim carved us an owl totem pole to sit out front. This year, since we put in the little water fountain and pool, it seems like things have increased, and we get lots more song birds at the feeders, more hummers sipping from their nectar feeders, frogs in or near the water, and more owls. Even though we love to listen to them, we usually don’t see owls, just a rare glimpse now and then.

These last two nights, from almost dark to full dark, there are two who have decided that our back yard is their private hunting preserve. We’ll see them winging in, coasting silently in like big feathered airplanes, to sit on a branch of a tree. They’re making an unusual call I hadn’t heard until recently, kind of a slow rising hiss, that peaks, then repeats in a while. They’ll sit in the pine for a while, looking intently around, then glide down to the ground, pounce on something, then move to the maple, only to repeat the process. Tonight, I even saw the two of them squabble over sitting on the same branch together. During that hour until it’s too dark to see them, we’re inside the back porch with the lights off, eagerly watching for the next move. I tried to get a good picture, but only got one decent one, and that’s pretty dark.

There must be a huge number of little critters wandering around out there in the dry brown grass, because they make many dives each night, dip their heads down and seem to eat something. What a wonderful show, and we feel very lucky to be able to watch these magnificent animals do what they do best.

I wonder if this will make a difference in the annual invasion of field mice that come in each fall? Maybe?