Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Owl By Any Other Name...

Since our move to the country 2 years ago many times we've heard owls calling back and forth to one another in the early morning hours. Knowing they're around I will often open a bedroom window at night in hopes of hearing them. I find the owls amazing, and I just feel like we are privileged to something unique in being able to hear them.

Virginia is home to four types of owls. And, over the last several weeks we have been hearing and catching glimpses of what Carl and I were totally convinced was a "Great Horned Owl." We had one that took up residence around us last year, so why wouldn't it be the same one this year? Even though the calls we have been hearing were a little different, we were still very sure it was a Horned Owl. My attempts to get a picture of it didn't meet with any success until Thursday when I had the dogs out for a late afternoon walk. I caught a glimpse of it on the edge of the woods, and ran back inside to get my camera. I was so excited by what I was able to get pictures of and a little surprised to find that it is not a Great Horned Owl after all, but a Barred Owl instead. But it doesn't matter, "an owl by any other name, is still an owl!" I still love having it around and hope it'll stay.
~~Their sound says: "who cooks for you-who cooks for you?"
~~Here's what they actually sound like: http://pelotes.jea.com/owlbard.wav

And here is what "ours" looks like:



Don't ask me how many pictures I took of him, this is where having a digital camera (and a good zoom lens) paid off!! But I think he (or she) is beautiful, don't you?

33 comments:

  1. Very beautiful. And it was nice of him to pose for a picture instead of fly away :) We occasionally have owls at our place but we can never get close to them. Enjoy!

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  2. Oh how lucky you are to have one of these at your place! Indeed, he is gorgeous!!! Maybe it's a girl who will have baby owls???? How pawsome would that be??? Sorry we haven't been around lately - much ado about puter issues, but we're back! Have a great weekend!
    Hugs xo
    Sammie

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  3. This is so cool! How lucky you were to get so many pictures in good light!

    -C

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  4. Great photos. You're so, so lucky to have got that close with a willing subject. There's something about owls that's mysterious and magical.

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  5. Grrrreat pix. Mr Owl is beautiful. What a rarity to be able to capture a fellow resident. I know what you mean about having a digital camera. They are just the best.

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  6. I love owls!! so beautiful! lovely pictures! xxx

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  7. Your own is absolutely stunning!!! I too love owls and had a 'barn owl' as a 'pet' when I was a child. Here in Johannesburg, folk put up owl boxes to encourage them. Sadly however, some cultures regard owls as a bad omen and seek to kill them...sob!
    Anyway...I wish I was in the country! Thank you for bringing me a bit of your 'country'...it's beautiful!
    Lotsalicks

    MAXMOM IN SA

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  8. What a beautiful Owl , the coloring is wonderful. What luck to be able to get such great photos and the sound is great.
    We would open our windows also.

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  9. WOW, what pictures!! FANTASTIC!! I can not believe you were able to capture him/her in pictures. We have owls here too, who have turned out to be barred owls as well, and I was never able to get them on film. Don't you just love them! I love to know that they live in the woods right next to our house, but I have to admit, when they start who-hoo'ing, it is rather eerie to hear late at night, and does not allow one to sleep when they sit right near an open bedroom window :-) hugs from here, Debby
    (been out of the loop for a while so it feels good to be getting around to visit everyone again).

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  10. Incredible - there is something so special about Owls.
    I'm feeling a bit sad about Sam being 15 - I think it's looking through the photo albums remembering how lively & spirited he was. ( too spirited...I had a toddler & a baby to cope with too )

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  11. What a gorgeous owl. He(she) blends really well with the background too!

    Shirl x

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  12. What stunning birds! Well done for capturing it on camera, a lesson in having one's camera ready to go at all times.(mine's always in the other room or the battery's flat)

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  13. Wow! What fantastic photo's!
    We hear a lot of owls, but, I have never seen one here.
    And I have to agree - aren't digital camera's just the bee knees.. I shot 71 pics today in a matter of a half hour. Just think what that would have cost to develop if it were a film camera!
    Have a great weekend..

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  14. What wonderful pictures. He is just so beautiful. God's creations are so amazing and such vivid confirmation of his love.
    Sophie's Mom

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  15. What a beautiful owl! You're lucky to get so close to the owl and take those great pictures!
    Thor

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  16. I love to hear the owls..t-wit..t-woo..as we call it.On holiday one year we were driving along a country lane and a snowy owl suddenly appeared and flew alongside the car..it was amazing!
    You have some great shots there.

    Bellaboo :0)

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  17. Kim,
    Glad you finally got a picture of this beautiful Barred Owl. We have them around our property and you can usually get pretty close to them. They are the only Owls which have brown eyes instead of yellow.
    They usually start mating season in Sept. so you will be really hearing
    then call back and forth.
    I just love their calling sound also. I have managed to mimic the sound pretty well and it serves it purpose when you want to scare the crows away from the garden.
    It's a sound they just hate.
    Last year one of the Owls got into a crows nest and snatch a young crow, it barely made it's escape with it's life.

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  18. Very beautiful creatures...amazing that you could even see it. So well hidden in the tree.

    Liz

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  19. wow, great pics!! i hear them occasionally, but can rarely see them!
    xo

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  20. That is so cool, I am not sure if I've heard a "real" owl in the wild before - but I'm with you - I'd open the windows too :)

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  21. We had huge Great Horned Owls near us when we lived in Canada - but I never managed to get photos in light like that, lucky you!

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  22. I agree, you are so lucky to see such a fine looking owl...

    Gill in Canada

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  23. Dear Kim
    That owl looks just like my owl, whose name is OWLBERT.
    You took such beauiful photos of him. And of course he posed beautifully.
    You take such awsome photos.
    Mommy is always taking pictures of Owlbert.
    Do you hoot back? We do, and then they answer.
    Owlbert must have flown to your house. Sometimes he carrys my in the sky.
    I love your story. Thank you for sharing.
    love
    tweedles

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  24. Love your owl pictures. Wonder what he's thinking?

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  25. Yes! The owl is beautiful. And those are great photos.

    Have you seen the Mom owl and babies? Wait for it. Takes a while to load. Live Cam.

    http://www.sportsmansparadiseonline.com/Live_Owl_Nest_Box_Cam.html

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  26. Inkhredible!

    When Mom had her house down the street there were nights an owl was in the tree outside the bedroom window but it was in just the perfekht spot that prevented her from seeing it - neither of the windows she had to look out would pawmit her to see it!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra

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  27. Beautiful photos - thanks for sharing.

    Lynn

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  28. Hello Kim, beautiful owls. Are they not amazing looking creatures? And as I look at your other postings, your animal are quite stunning!

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  29. OH my gosh Kim that is amazing. He is just beautiful and your photo captured his majesty so perfectly. How wonderful that you were able to see this beauty of nature.
    xoxo
    Mimi~

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  30. How amazing!! they dont look real thats how amazing the pictures look... wow you are so lucky to have that out your front door.

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  31. What an amazing bird! You got some a great shots! Tahnks for much for sharing this special visit with us!
    Hugs and belly rubs to all,
    Kit

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  32. B-HOOT-IFUL!

    wif love from the Luke

    P.S. What amazing pitchers!

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Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!