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.
A Barred Owl pair with two fledged owlets has been seen regularly from the boardwalk at Beidler Forest. We spotted just this one youngster taking short flights in the limbs above us.
The owlet was curious about the humans passing on the boardwalk below him, not bothered by our presence. A school group of about twenty-five kids and chaperones had just passed and a few of their stragglers stopped with us to watch the chick.