Sunday, November 23, 2008
Whoooo did you see in the garden?
The other day as I was heading out to do some work in the garden, I heard the incessant cackling of a large group of crows. They seemed to be going after something, so I set my stuff down and started to follow the ruckus. Turns out, the crows were chasing a solitary owl. A large, beautiful owl, that we later identified as a Barred Owl. So, I called Stephanie Huckestein, our Education and Outreach Coordinator, to come out to watch this sight with me. I figured it was too good of a wildlife sighting to not share with anyone. We ran around, from tree to tree, following this whole winged drama. Finally, the owl made its way to a large Norway Spruce, Picea abies. Poor thing was getting mauled by the crows, so we started to make what we decided were owl sounds, and lo and behold, the crows left. We stood guard of the owl for a while, hooting, whenever the crows made an attempt to return. He stayed there in the spruce for a spell, probably enjoying the quiet, until I tried to get in a little too close for a picture. Ooops. Still got a pretty good one. Anyways, a pretty exciting afternoon, I must say!
Later, we came to find out that owls prey on baby crows and so perhaps the crows were just protecting their young. Oh well, the owl was so outnumbered it was hard not to take his side!