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Owl’s Nest

Posted on March 2nd, 2013

Last night I went cross country skiing at Old Man’s Timber.  The night was a perfect February night, temperature in the low 20’s heading down to the upper teens, calm wind, clearing sky and a bright snow cover.  As I made my way along Locust Lane, I came upon a nice buck, and quickly stopped.   We both seemed equally surprised to see one another this night, both standing motionless waiting for the other to make the next move.  After a couple of minutes the buck let out a good-bye grunt and was on his way.  I continued to the prairie and then into the timber.  I took the west trail back to the area I plan to clear as a picnic and camp site.  While enjoying the solitude of the night, I heard two Barred Owls calling to each other.  Immediately, I thought back to last spring when we were fortunate to be able to observe a nesting female, first on eggs, later with 3 owlets, and finally with one juvenile.

Today after working on TSI for about 4 hours, I decided to go for a walk while my burn pile burned down.  Thinking back to last night, I hiked down to the dead tree that held last year’s owl nest.  As I approached the nest I noticed some downy feathers on the outside of the tree, two more crunchy steps in the snow and I was startled as the nesting mother emerged out of the nest and lit in a nearby tree.  I quickly held my camera as high as I could to take a couple of blind photos.  After a couple attempts I was able to capture the image below and was delighted to see 3 eggs in the nest!

 

Barred Owl Eggs

Barred Owl Eggs

 

Based on a little research, Barred Owls incubate their eggs from 28 – 33 days.  This makes sense as last year we discovered eggs in the nest on March 25th, and by April 1st the eggs had hatched.

Once again it will be fun to observe the nest and see the owlets.  With that said, I plan to keep my distance and only visit occasionally so that I don’t become too disruptive to this wonderful, natural gift.

Another day at the timber, another healthy dose of Vitamin N!

 

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