Who Cooks for You?

     I know the weather up North is still cold but we are putting the air conditioner on already and haze and humidity are building up. As the bird traffic on the river decreases I find myself looking for new subjects in the area. Yesterday evening I saw an owl I have been hearing in the area but it was already dark. This evening I heard it again before sundown and went looking for it. Found it, and then some.

     My cousin spots it first. It is a fledgling Barred Owl in one of the oaks in the schoolyard next door. It was high up in the foliage but I got small sunlit angle on it and got a photo. The fluffy feathers and large dark eyes were mesmerizing.  A short time later I was talking to another neighbor about them and one of the adults flies overhead and lands in a tree in their yard. You do not hear an owl fly, the feathers are made in such a way as to render them silent. Their keen eyesight, excellent hearing and silent flight make them very efficient hunters. I raise the camera, find the doohickey and  Click! I look across the street and spot the owl’s mate. Click again. The flash went off in the low light and spooked it but not before I have three Barred Owl photos. The call of the Barred Owl is very distinct, hoo hoo hoo-hoo, hoo hoo hohooooawe (who cooks for you, who cooks for you all) ending with a descending and rolling hooooaaw note.  Since retiring I do most of the cooking now so I know the answer to that call. The weather turned bad over the weekend and when it cleared I went back to the same area and spot the adult again. Then I see them. Two fuzz balls on a limb. I call them Fuzzy and Wuzzy! What a HOOT! More like what a pair of little Hoots. Fuzzy is the one on the right and starts to bob and weave its head trying to get a better look at me. Wuzzy decides to scare me away by fluffing up its wings and showing me how bad and scary it is. They are not yet able to fly but I see them exercising their wings and hoping from branch to branch between naps. Life is good in "Hooter-ville" hollow. I will check on them in the coming weeks and report back on their progress.

     Some of you might not believe this but just the day before this happened I was going over my wish list of birds and checking them off.  I have also started framing some photos for a small Wings on the Broward gallery wall in the hallway. I call them my keepers.  I have been hoping to find an owl. I put them in my morning prayers and within a day I had three photos. Hmmm. maybe its time to pray about the Powerball lottery..(just kiddin Lord).. Time for me to get supper started now because I, I, I cook for the Editor and she is hungry when she gets home! Ya’ll be blessed. I sure was. Harry

Fledgling Barred Owl peeks out of the tree.

Adult Barred Owl peers down from the tree and gets caught by my flash on the camera.

The setting sun illuminates the Barred Owl on its perch.

One of two fledglings. I call this one Fuzzy!

Sibling fledglings Fuzzy on the right and Wuzzy on the left.

Wuzzy fluffs up its wings in an attempt to scare me off? Or just stretching? Fuzzy catches some zzzss..

The fledglings can hop from branch to branch, appears they will be practicing flight soon.

One of the two adult Barred Owls keeps a watch on me while I watch the fledglings.

email: selsorhd@me.com

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Photos are avail for purchase framed or unframed.