Neighborhood Owls

A Great Horned Owl in flight, May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

It was the middle of May. I was listening to the birdsong through the open kitchen window while I washed the dinner dishes. I decided to go out with the camera before the sun set. I heard the beating of his wings as I walked under the tree. Looking up, I saw an owl in flight only 10 feet over my head. I stood still and watched him fly across the park. I followed him. The sun had slipped past the horizon. In a tree by the water tower, there were three owls silhouetted against the evening sky.

I went back to the park a couple of times during the following week. There were only a few leaves on the trees, then, and the owls were visible from a distance. They would fly to a different tree further away when I was too close. One of the days, there were four owls in the same tree: two old and two young.

Since then, I have seen an owl in the tree by the apartment a few times. Yesterday afternoon, I went to the park. There were three birds circling high above the trees. They could have been the owls. The weather was beautiful. I walked down a nearby country road before returning home.

Three Great Horned Owls in the evening light, May 15, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

Three Great Horned Owls in the evening light, May 15, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl: the mother of the owl family of four, May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl: the mother of the owl family of four, May 16, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl, May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls." The owl decided I had come too close and flew to a tree further away.

A Great Horned Owl, May 16, 2014. The owl decided I had come too close and flew to a tree further away.

A Great Horned Owl. May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl. May 16, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family of four, May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family of four, May 16, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl in flight, May 16, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl in flight, May 16, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl: the mother of the owl family, May 17, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl: the mother of the owl family, May 17, 2014.

Four Great Horned Owls in a tree, May 20, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

Four Great Horned Owls in a tree, May 20, 2014.

Two young Great Horned Owls, May 20, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

Two young Great Horned Owls, May 20, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family, May 20, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family, May 20, 2014.

Two Great Horned owls: the Mom on the right and one of the younger ones on the left, May 21, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

Two Great Horned owls: the mother on the right and one of the younger ones on the left, May 21, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family, May 21, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl: the father of the owl family, May 21, 2014.

A Great Horned Owl in flight, May 21, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A Great Horned Owl in flight, May 21, 2014.

The park next door two months later, July 19, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls." The trees on the edge of the park are where I saw the owls in May.

The park next door two months later, July 19, 2014. The owls were in the trees along the boundary of the park when I saw them in May.

A fire hydrant tucked in next to the corn on a nearby country road, July 19, 2014, "Neighborhood Owls."

A fire hydrant tucked in next to the corn on a nearby country road, July 19, 2014.

A video of the Great Horned Owls, May 2014

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
This entry was posted in Nature, Video Clips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Neighborhood Owls

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    Very impressive pictures. Those are magnificent birds. There is a lot of mythology about owls.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚ and for the link!!

      I was really impressed by the owls. When I was nearby on the day that I saw the four in one tree, I could hear them calling to one another: “Hoot hoot” drifting up and down. It was really something. They have such expressive eyes: surprise, shock, suspicion, and sleepiness. I tried to approach quietly and respectfully so they would know I was harmless. They regarded me with suspicion anyway. Every time I was close enough for a clear picture, they would fly away. One day, they all took to the air and I could see them circling high above on the air currents like the hawks do. I have been listening for the “Hoot… hoot…” in the mornings and the evenings when I have the windows open, but I haven’t heard it in a while. I am curious how long they have been living in the trees. I saw one back in the winter when I was running. I have been living here a few years and that was the first time I had seen one. Actually, that was the first time I had seen an owl my entire life. It was at night and I don’t know which one of the four it was.

      It is interesting what people associate with different animals. When I saw them in the evening, they had a certain eeriness to them. In the early morning, I was mostly in awe of their size and how they lifted themselves up on their wings when they took off flying.

      • alpuntogar says:

        Hi Sarah, those pictures are amazing! It must have been great to experience them, also when flying πŸ™‚ I am not sure whether I have ever seen an owl, I have definitely never been close enough to take a picture. Enjoy a nice week πŸ™‚

        • Sarah says:

          Hi Ana πŸ™‚

          Thanks for your kind thoughts! I am happy you like the photos πŸ™‚ I went out that evening to see if I could take some pictures of the songbirds. I stopped in my tracks when the owl flew over my head. I couldn’t have touched him if I had put my hand up, but he was close enough that I could fully appreciate his size. I was awe struck. And then, I had to get up early the next morning and go looking for them πŸ™‚

          They are saying it will be hot here this week. I am going running in the early mornings so it is alright by me. I have fresh blueberries in the refrigerator that I bought yesterday. It is a good start to the week πŸ™‚

  2. Jet Eliot says:

    How very wonderful to be surrounded by the owls. Great photos too! πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi,
      Thanks for visiting and your kind comment! I was definitely surprised by the owls πŸ™‚ It looks like such an ordinary group of trees. This area used to be farms and the park next door was a corn field when I moved in. The taller trees in the area have been around for years maybe some even a hundred years. The owls might have lived here longer than I have. It is something special to come home, look up at the trees and see an owl looking back at me. I love the cheeriness of the little songbirds. The owls, though, give the impression of seriousness. I feel like I should stand up straighter or give an accounting of what I have learned today or something. πŸ™‚

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