In May I had a close encounter of the “who” kind when a local Barred Owl responded to my electronic “Call” and nearly landed on my head. One evening on a recent workshop I had another similar encounter. A number of Barred Owls nested along the lake where the Swallow-tailed Kites gathered for their migration south. We decided to try and get some photographs of the “who kind” one evening.
One of our workshop leaders has spent 20 + years studying bird behavior and documenting it for others to learn from. He can observe a bird in the wild and aptly predict, set up and call in a bird to a particular branch. I watched him do it several times. I didn’t even know what an Eastern Towhee was until that day he called it onto a particular branch. He could call in any bird I think. That is except for our owl friend. We spent several hours preparing just the perfect place for it to land for a stunning photograph. The owl flew in on cue but this “wise one” decided to land elsewhere. Undaunted we tried to repeat our “success” the next night with similar results. Only this time it did indeed land on the right tree and almost on the exact branch we wanted. Almost. The sunset was golden and the light was just right. If only the owl had perched at the right spot. As we moved into the bank to retrieve a boat cushion by the tree, the owl decided to stay and watch our antics instead. We motored right up to it, just a few feet away and it just sat there and watched us watching it. I have never been so close to a wild owl in nature. It was a beautiful and close encounter of the who kind. What a Hoot! It’s photo is now etched in metal and hanging on my wall.
I had another close encounter of an even stranger kind about 38 years ago. Only this one never left and hangs around the house with the dogs all day now that she is retired. Oh, the Editor just woke up from her nap. Got to act like I am working…More coffee dear? Blessings. Harry