Each evening, a Great Horned Owl takes up residence on a post along our drive. We're next to a wildlife area, and there's a row of pine trees in the windbreak, so it is understandably an attractive place for an owl. Each night, around 5 PM he starts hooting from the large post. Sometimes, he moves to the top of the nearby tree, and a few evenings ago, we spotted a pair, sharing different branches, and clearly calling each other. This has gone on for weeks. We've seen (and heard) other types of owls here, but we're pretty sure, based on his pattern, that this is the same owl night after night.
Sometimes, Danny can call (he's really good at different owl calls-thanks Nebraska Bird Library!) and get an answer for a bit, before the owl grows tired and flies off. A few nights ago, Mr. ETB took him out to try and watch the owl in the fading light, and they were lucky enough to see him taking off over the adjoining field.
One afternoon, driving home, we stopped to observe a Great Horned sitting on a post along the County Road, only to have it follow us home, sitting at the same post.
Most evenings, as I prepare dinner, I expect Danny to come inside announcing the arrival of the owl(s). While I could do without the hooting all night (I swear, it must sit outside my window after 2 AM) it is really exciting to live in a place where the owls recognise you, and don't immediately fly off when they spot a human.
In other birdwatching news, we've seen Nuthatches, Cardinals, Bluejays, Juncos, Sparrows, Meadowlarks, Cooper's Hawks, Woodpeckers (Hairy and Downy) Black and White Warblers, and the odd Pheasant wandering near the house. The Cooper's Hawk (I suspect) is eying the smaller birds at the feeder. I don't know what Danny will do if he sees it flying off with a House Sparrow, but I doubt he's been hanging around because he likes our yard.
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That reminds me, I need to buy bird food. I have often warned my daughter that her Yorkie looks like a great lunch to a Hawk. She piffs at me...adult kids know it all.
If you're going to feed a hawk, you'll need something a bit more substantial than birdseed-does your pet store sell mice?
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