I was delighted to find this Barred Owl perched over the bamboo pond yesterday morning. Reports from many of my photographer friends have been that the Barred Owl Owlet was feeding himself and neither he nor the adults had been spotted recently.
I’m not sure if this is the chick from this year or one of the parents, or maybe a completely different owl. He did treat me to one swoop over the water then did some grooming.
I didn’t see him catch anything and he was content to look around.
This morning the male Barred Owl did land in a sunny spot over the pond while he was hunting and I was in a good spot. I didn’t know until later, but the female and owlet were in the trees behind me waiting for their breakfast.
Today was the first time I’d been to the swamp in a week due to the extreme heat we’ve been having. We went early and were home by noon. It was already 95 F (35 C).
The Barred Owls I’ve been watching rarely perch in a sunny spot, but its an owl after all, so you take what you can get! The sunlit trees in the background here sparkled like jewels as the owl scoped out his next snack.
It would be easy to walk right underneath this Barred Owl Owlet without even knowing he was there. I probably have more than a few times!
The adult that was with him for his Eating Lesson had flown off to sit over the pond, leaving the little fellow on his own.
He was somewhat covered by the pine boughs and his coloration seen from a predator above would blend in with his surroundings. When I was leaving I saw the other parent a few trees away keeping his eye on the area.
It turns out that the Barred Owls I’ve been watching have a chick. The first time I spotted him he was getting a feeding lesson from one of his parents. The adult demonstrated then passed the item, which I could not identify, to the owlet.
They were very high off the ground and many branches prevented a good view. These owls are very accustomed to people passing by. With hundreds of acres available to nest they chose a spot near a popular walking path through Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.