Owl Diary: Saturday 1/26

The east owl once again provided its followers with drama by moving to a new spot. This location, about 30 yards south of the slanted rock with the white spot, is close to but not identical to the spot where the bird stood on Friday January 15 in the rain. Here the bird could be seen both from the Open Circle viewpoint and, more clearly, from the paved perimeter trail. When I first saw it, the owl was standing up, easy to see if you knew what to look for. When I returned half an hour later, after visiting the north owl, the east owl had climbed down into a hole, so that only the top of its head was visible from the trail. Park visitors without binoculars or zoom lenses had a very hard time picking it out.

East owl seen from the Open Circle viewpoint
East owl from paved trail outside fence at 8:21 a.m.
East owl from paved trail at 8:45 a.m.

The north owl, meanwhile, charmed its followers with its consistency. It stood quietly in its habitual spot, wide awake, swiveling its head north and east, paying little if any attention to the passage of humans on the paved trail above it. I met a photographer who told me that an Osprey had flown over the north owl’s position yesterday, and the owl had quickly vanished. Although Ospreys specialize in sea food — this one had a fat smelt in its talons– a little owl can’t afford to take chances.

North Owl at 8:35 a.m.

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