Barred Owl in Cavity

After the failure of the owl nest on the east side of the lake, I have been hesitant to venture too close to the owl nest on the west side. Fearful that human proximity had caused the nest failure, I wanted to ensure that the owls on the west side of the lake got the privacy they deserved. Afterall, imagine the popperazzis waiting outside your door every morning at 8am. Maybe you’d leave home, too. At least, you’d grow tired of it. Perhaps owls are different. If an observer is silent and moves slowly, maybe owls won’t mind your taking a respectful interest in their family life.

This morning I ventured to get closer to the nest site. Previously, I viewed the nest only from the path 50-60 feet away. But this morning, employing the patience of Job and the plodding pace of a sloth (literally), I eased into the woods and picked my way to her cavity. Her eyes were on me the whole way. Thirty minutes later, I had snaked (more like ‘snailed’) my way to a spot 30-35 feet from the nest. My angle of view was about 35 degrees. I was finally clear of the tangles of vines and briars, though the poison ivy draped from every tree I leaned against.  Aiming my lens upward, I snapped a few photos:

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Is she sitting on eggs or chicks? When will they emerge from the cavity? Will I be there to capture their debut? Maybe…


About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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2 Responses to Barred Owl in Cavity

  1. Rob G says:

    From my experiences with the Barred Owls of UNC campus, proximity to human activity had little bearing on nesting success, and the owlets usually emerged from nesthole in mid-to-late May. When they first emerge of course they can’t fly, but only climb, so you’ll have plenty of time to observe them ‘learning the ropes’ even if you’re not there when they initially leave the nest.

  2. Thanks, Rob. I originally found the owl by accidentally walking right by her tree. She spooked off the nest then, but she obviously hung around and didn’t seem to mind my presence when I got closer yesterday.

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