May 13, 2005
Friday Bird Blogging, Lo-Tech Style
These days, when I take the dog out in the morning, it is just getting light enough to see some amazing fowl activity in the wooded strip just behind the house.
Unfortunately, it is not quite light enough for me to make out the shadowy winged creatures -- I'm talking big ones -- enough to always accurately identify to which species they belong and what they are doing.
Also unfortunately, I do not own a super-magna zoom-happy digital camera, so I can't cheat on my natural (er, bespectacled) eyesight and pull the images closer or capture them to show here. You'll just have to take my word for it, for now.
One large bird that I've heard and seen recently is a Great Horned Owl. Its deep, throaty, "woofy" call is unmistakable, and yesterday I caught it flying up to a limb, where it sat in full view (but was only a silhouette due to the pre-sunrise backlighting) while I just stood there and stared at it. There's nothing quite like seeing just the black outline of a Great Horned and not knowing whether its huge eyes are trained on you or not.
Another treasure is a Red-Tailed Hawk, which is one of the largest I've seen. (I'm assuming that for both of these there is a mate somewhere.)
Yesterday, I could have sworn that I saw the hawk chasing the owl. I had heard the owl's call, and shortly afterward I saw two large birds, one close behind the other. They were obscured by dawn's early light and tree limbs, and during their brief pass I heard a repeated sharp scolding that was unfamiliar to me, but I guessed it came from the hawk. It was a pretty exciting moment, though, whatever was happening.
This morning I saw two different darkened shapes silently winging through the trees, but I could not tell which each might be. I wish I had all day to sit and watch (and some good binoculars).
The songbird neighborhood doesn't seem to care that much when just the owl is about; or maybe it's just by comparison, but they really set up an alarm whenever our old Red-Tail drops in. Lucy (the dog) is afraid to enter the woods when they really get going (which annoys me, because she needs to "do her thang" and I need to get on the road). I can't tell if she, too, knows that the hawk is around, or if she's just scared by all the hyper chirping (she's scared of practically everything else that moves, makes noise, you name it).
The point here is not that there are large fowl in the woods. It's that we live in the City, just up the hill from a major thoroughfare and sandwiched between that road and the Interstate, and these feathered friends are around anyway.
If I get clearer views of the hawk, the owl, or if that young Golden Eagle ever comes back (now THAT was a BIG bird), I'll let you know what up. If you've read this far, you have figured that there are no actual bird photos in this post; so by way of apology, I'll link to this one.
UPDATE: This one, too.
Happy Friday the 13th!
Nature | By joe lance | 07:54 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Friday Bird Blogging, Lo-Tech Style: