Noises and Night Owls

August 20, 2015

I live in the forest. There’s a lake in my backyard, with a protected wilderness area on the other side, and it’s not unusual for deer, raccoons, porcupines, beavers, bobcats, and coyotes to wander through the yard. But last night, at the unholy hour of 3AM, something new set up a clamour lasting a full half hour. After which, my mind decided it was clearly morning, and it took me another two hours to fall back asleep.

Let’s just say that if the zombie apocalypse hits today, I’ll have the perfect disguise. 😀

I did have enough braaaaaaains this morning to identify the nocturnal visitor, though. With the help of the internet and my trusty Formac Field Guide to Birds of Nova Scotia, I have determined that the culprit was a barred owl, like this one.

How did you sleep last night? What kinds of animals visit your backyard, and do they ever wake you up?

2 Comments on ‘Noises and Night Owls’

  1. Ooh, barred owls! We had one nesting in a hollow tree in the ravine behind our house. Ravine was deep but the tree was massive, and nest hole was about on a level with our back deck, approximately 45 feet away. Mama owl came back every year to raise her little one(s). Sometimes an only child, sometimes two or even three. When they emerged from the hole, they’d sit on a thick limb for several days until they were ready to fly. Did you know a baby owl can lie down on a branch to take a nap without falling off, then stand up again when it wakes? Mama brings them huge hunks of dinner which they happily swallow whole.

    One of the first evenings the first year, we were sitting on the porch just watching the babies and I said, “I wonder where the mother is now.”
    Bob: “She’s probably watching us.”
    Just as he spoke, she silently glided by, right in front of us … her wingtip mere feet from our noses and her face turned to stare right at us. The message was clear! She returned to the babies on the branch and never looked at us again. She didn’t have to!

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    1. Wow, that sounds amazing! We haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of this owl and haven’t heard it again, so I suspect it was just passing through. But the baby ducks swam down the creek for their first frolic in the lake, and we’re still having fun watching the antics of our loon family. Hummingbirds often buzz my second-story office window, as well. I think they’re attracted to the bright-red apple-shaped post-it dispenser on the windowsill.

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