A barred owl

On this morning's walk, I saw what I first thought was a hawk glide across the road. It landed on a branch of a nearby tree, and remained still, watching me closely. I realized it was an owl, probably a barred owl. We live in a neighborhood full of old hardwood trees, punctuated by a long watershed/sewer easement, so have good habitat for barred owls, which like forested areas.

A couple of summers ago, we had a nest nearby, and every evening for several weeks, one or two of the young owls would perch on a branch of the black walnut on the edge of the forest, hunting for dinner.

One day, early, I caught a glimpse of one near the house, and managed to catch a blurry image, before it left.


  1. Owls are such mysterious and odd creatures, though they are beautiful, indeed. I had the scare of my life one night while driving home from work on a deserted, wooded road -- a white owl swooped in front of my car so close that I thought I would hit it. That ghostly image will stay with me forever -- its wingspan was HUGE.

  2. I am truly jealous. I love owls and we do get occasional tawny owls visit us and we see barn owls in Norfolk.
    Truly jealous!

  3. Nancy, you must have seen a snowy owl, which we don't have in the southeastern U.S. since they live in more northerly areas (where you are). Their wingspan is 50-57 inches (126-145 cm) according to the Cornell All About Birds site (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Snowy_Owl.html), which also comments that they're the heaviest owls in NA. So I'm not surprised it (probably he) gave you a shock.

    And Rob, tawny owls are quite impressive, too, and are 'your' owls in Europe.

    Thanks for sharing your observations!


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