Monday, February 20, 2012

Transfixed by a Barred Owl's Call

Dave and I went for a walk in the Arb late Sunday afternoon, at the north end coming in from the Canada Ave. bridge. The trail was a real mixture, depending on the prevailing angles of the sun -- in some places it was still coated with snow as seen above, in other places darkly and squishily muddy, in some places icily slick, and in others a patchwork of slushy snow remnants and bare ground.

As we approached the thick stand of pines, I was transfixed to hear from ahead of us, close and loud and very clear, the call of a barred owl, three times within a minute or two. Dave said the look on my face was of utter joy to hear my first wild owl calling. The call of the barred owl is often described as "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" and that is indeed the pattern of the call.

Here is a wonderful video, NOT my own, of a barred owl calling in northern Alberta. This is just what it sounded like, but we did not see it, and it did not call again within our hearing.

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