A lot of birdie commotion outside, sounding as though there was an interloper in the neighborhood, robins zipping around all over the place. I suspected a cat, a coyote, a raccoon. And then I saw it -- a huge barred owl. The birds were dive bombing it.
The owl just sat there on a branch, casually plucking feathers from a dead robin's body. The owl grabbed the dead bird by the head and flew off.
I began writing this post and was partway through when I heard more robin agitation going on. I looked, and there was the owl, back in the same tree. I grabbed the iPhone and headed down to get a closer look.
He'd moved and it took me a few minutes to spot him, about 12 feet away and seemingly unperturbed with my presence. I took a few shots with the cellphone and then tried imitating the call of a great horned owl. That got his attention, once. So I went online and played a recording of a GHO on my iPhone. No response. No matter what GHO call I tried playing, no luck.
I circled around, trying to get closer, trying to get a branch-free look, but he eventually just flew off and everything became peaceful once again.
This was around 4:30, broad daylight. I shudder to think what happens around here at night!
We moved in on Friday. To date I've seen lots of rabbits, a coyote, a deer, flickers, juncos, nuthatches, bald eagles, watched hornets build a nest, a woodpecker of some sort climb a tree, various butterflies, and now a predatory owl. I've been here less than a week! What will I see if I actually start paying attention?!