Barred Owl Sighting

Seeing a wild Barred Owl is sort of like seeing Sasquatch. Only in this case Barred Owls are real.

This one can be crossed off the bucket list. For the longest time I wanted to see a real, wild owl. Not an owl that comes with a wildlife rehabilitator. Not an owl stuck in a zoo. An owl that can silently swoop in, gaze at me and silently melt away into the forbidden darkness. It finally happened a few nights ago.

Of course I was in my car. But it still counts! We were the only car on our street and I had my two youngest daughters with me. Nine times out of ten that unusual figure sticking up from a branch is a broken limb or maybe even a piece of garbage caught by a snag. But this time, the large round head and two unmistakable black front-facing eyes told me that this was my first wild owl. I would have been ecstatic if it had looked at me for five seconds and flew off, but we were treated to some predatory action as well! 

I pulled safely to the side of the street and we all observed the owl looking a bit uncomfortable. Why didn't this predator fly off into the forest? Would you run out of if someone flashed a light in your face? No way. I would eat first and press charges later. This owl was spying its dinner. After a minute it swiftly landed on a mouse at the base of the tree and rushed to a different branch a little deeper in the forest. After it swallowed its meal, it swooped down on the ground again, snatched something and blended into the dark.

This was a Barred Owl, probably 18 to 20 inches tall. A huge predator. The cold, black, marble-like eyes were a feature that I will never forget. Hearing a Barred Owl's call is always a treat as well. I have heard them numerous times, even at 3:30 in the afternoon. And just like coyote howls, the Barred Owl's call always sends a shiver down my spine. Click here to see if it does the same for you.


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Spring Street April 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
He's yes the Wise Old Owl:) ! Really Big WOW Beautiful Amazing footage Thank You !
Mike Bottaro April 19, 2012 at 01:17 AM
You are blessed! When my wife was last pregnant, we would take walks in EG. Several times during the pregnancy, an owl crossed our path.... we later read about some of the symbolism long associated with owls, including a safe pregnancy (which we had)... http://www.pauldfrost.co.uk/intro_o2.html
Karen Paley April 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Ah, the link won't open! Karen
Karen Paley April 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Got it now. If I couldn't see the owl, I would have heard it as a rooster.
Spring Street April 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM
It opened 8:29pm Thanks Mike Great reading !
Judy Bailey April 26, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Last summer my grandaughter Elizabeth saw two small owls as she was bicycling along Frenchtown Road. The next day an owl flew into her car door as she drove along Rte.2. Two days later as she was driving in Foster after leaving the fairgrounds, yet another owl hit her other door.Both doors had scratches. Strange and rather frightening in a Harry Potter way.
Jon Mignacca March 07, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Saw one this morning in the woods behind my home in Saunderstown RI.... I starred at him as he starred back


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