For the past few weeks we have been serenaded by several Great Horned Owls. Their calls, a series of deep hoots (who-who-ah-whoo, who-ah-whoo) break the silence of the late evening or early morning. It is always too dark to see it, or take pictures.
Today, however, owl starting hooting before sundown. It sounded very close. I scanned the nearby tree, and finally spotted it. Unfortunately, owl was mostly hidden by a veil of willowy leaves. I didn’t want to scare ‘my’ owl away, so I slowly worked my way along the back of our house, well away from the tree. I tried to be quiet, but it is almost impossible to walk quietly on gravel – crunch, crunch, crunch.
Owl didn’t budge. When I had reached the optimum location, I was able to take a few good photos.
Then I crunch, crunch, crunched my way back across the yard and into the house. Hope this is the first of many more owl encounters, and the last of the rodents who burrow under the prickly pear cactus patch.
The Feather Files
Name: Bubo virginianus
Alias: Great Horned Owl
Migration: Found all across North America up to the northern tree line; no regular migration – individuals may wander long distances in fall and winter, sometimes moving southward.
Date Seen: February, 2017
Location: North of Fountain Hills, Arizona
This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Against the Odds.