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 passed over me and I just saw his wing. A few moments later another one zipped through the tree canopy. After walking along slowly and listening as the two owls “talked” to each other and several Crows made a ruckus overhead I spotted one high in a tree.
He then flew towards a pond where I have seen an Owl before. I slowly walked in that direction, standing and waiting and I finally spotted him. This tree stands in the middle of that small pond. He was a little closer to the ground, maybe twenty feet (six meters) up.
I inched around the side of the pond and got a side view.
And a few more feet along and more waiting, the sun popped out for a minute.
These were taken with my Sony Alpha 6500 with Sony 55-210 MM lens, which I rarely use for wildlife. However, my Canon is off having the media slot fixed and I was pleased how these came out.
I heard two Barred Owls talking to each other with that low cooing sound they use when they are on the hunt. After perching in a few spots in the tree canopy one of them settled for a bit above a small pond.
I check this spot regularly, knowing that at least a pair of Barred Owls hunt here. Looking through past posts, June of 2018 was the last time my passing here was rewarded.
I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk standing on the ground at the side of a pond and approached slowly. Other times I’ve seen them do this the bird was squeezing his next meal, but I didn’t see any food here.
Afterwards, when I zoomed in on what I thought was a tree root or Cypress knee, it turned out to be a turtle standing on its end.
Who knew a Red-shouldered Hawk could lift so much?He didn’t struggle at all and disappeared into the woods with his catch
I don’t know what made the hawk take off; I was standing still and the only human in view.
These were taken with the Sony Alpha 6500 which uses an electronic viewfinder, not the best arrangement for images of birds in flight due to the lag time.