Yesterday, my neighbor messaged me about some young owls she spied hiding in the trees on her property. As soon as Wyokiddo and I finished lunch, we headed down to the beautiful Delaney Bend Farm. We were delighted to see the three juvenile owls perched around the tree, just as cute as can be.
One of the things I love about birding is that there are always new species to observe. At first, I assumed this guy was a great-horned owl, because those are the most abundant owls around here. But when I pulled up the photos on my computer, I realized he was lacking some distinct great-horned traits, like the colored facial disk. Armed with my ever trusty National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America and Google, I began my investigation.
My best guess is that this is an Eastern Screech Owl. I’ve never seen a screech owl before, so being able to cross this species off my bird list is pretty satisfying. And while I’ve never seen a screech owl, I’ve definitely heard some before. Their call is a distinct trill, almost like a melodic horse whinny. On nights when I am having a hard time sleeping, I’ll come out to the couch and open the living room window to just enjoy the night sounds. I’ve often heard their vibrating trills, but never knew which critter belonged to the noise.
There’s always something new to see if we just look up once in a while!