Old-growth swamp forest, to be more precise, and a great home for Barred Owls. Some of the trees here are 1000 plus years old and the water circulating around them provides a perpetual feast for owls.
There are currently two pair of Barred Owls frequenting the boardwalk area maintained by Audubon South Carolina. We heard them calling to each other in the distance throughout our visit and then spotted this one napping.
Dappled lighting through the leaves and the stillness of the owl makes me wonder if we walked past his mate without realizing it.
Beidler Forest sits within the Four Holes Swamp, a 45,000-acre matrix of black water sloughs and lakes, shallow bottomland hardwoods, and deep bald cypress and tupelo gum flats. Four Holes Swamp is also a major tributary of the Edisto River, part of the Charleston area’s famous ACE basin. Over 17,000 of the swamp’s acres are owned by the National Audubon Society and make up what is known as the Francis Beidler Forest.
Audubon Center & Sanctuary at the Francis Beidler Forest, South Carolina, 9/17/2017.