Confirmed sighting!

Unidentified bird. I mean, it’s an owl, and presumably one of “our” owls. But which one?

January 30, 2021

I was sitting on the porch waiting for them, and they arrived, seconds apart.

There are two!

If we’re really going to do this, it’s time to get out the good camera and set it up properly.

The streak continues…

Today was gray and rainy, and it was still drizzling when I got home from an errand. As I turned onto my street I did a mental calculation of the odds that I’d find an owl or two waiting for me in the yard.

She didn’t even make me finish pulling in to park.


She watched me carefully as I walked below her into the house.

And seconds later, Simon showed up, and they swooped off to the neighbor’s yard.

Off to a great start!

Hi all… it’s been a minute! I hope I’m not counting my (owlet) eggs before they hatch, but I’ve seen two birds canoodling in the nest tree for two nights running. So I decided to fire the website back up. Cross your fingers!

This happened Monday…

And last night they came a bit later, so I could only get these two bad images in the dark. Take my word for it that these are two birds, both glaring at me!

At the suggestion of my good friend Ursula and in keeping with the 2021 zeitgeist, we have decided to name these kids Daphne and Simon. I’m going to assume the same rules from past years in which names will be consistent within one encounter but may not in fact refer to the same bird across time because I can’t yet tell them apart. We’ll have to wait to see if they have distinct markings! In the meantime, one of these is Daphne and one of them is Simon, and they’re both beyond welcome squeeeee!

 

 

2019 is here!!

I’m going to hold off on embeddable streaming ($30/month!) until we see if we have owls, but I did want to let whoever reads this know that I got a new camera and thanks to Jason of WAVES Audio it is up and running. At the very least you will get to see cute squirrels. There are 3 sleeping in there now and they are pretty charming.

Fingers crossed for the season y’all!

2018: It’s not a bust, it’s a reboot!

2018 hasn’t been completely owl-free. There’s been hooting, now and then, and it’s strange hooting — one of the hoots sounds familiar (it’s the gurgly one, not the “missed a syllable” one) and the other is totally new. But there is a story here and I am going to hypothesize.

My story is based largely on 2018 over at Barred Owls of Midtown Tulsa (BOOMT). These lovely people gave me a lot of help in setting up my camera and I’ve learned a ton about barred owls from their various videos and pages. The owls in question are (were!) Owlbert and Sofie, a happy pair in Tulsa, OK. This spring, Sofie laid two beautiful eggs. Then she vanished. A few days later her neighborhood humans found her body and decided to climb the tree and rescue the eggs, which have turned into beautiful, flufftacular babies in the care of some wonderful rehabbers.

This tragedy left Owlbert completely alone, however, with suddenly no mate and no eggs when the day before he’d had both. He gave it a solid 48 hours, but then he kicked in to a really solid attempt to reboot 2018. Within a few days he had recruited a pretty new mate and they did their level best to see about making some eggs. (It didn’t happen, but fingers crossed for next year, Lola!)

Then March 31st happened in my yard. I heard baby birds screaming for food, and in short order I found a nest of tiny something-or-others hidden in the railing of our garage. I wanted to grab a picture and realized my camera was inside, so I turned and ran for the house, and of course the one time I wasn’t looking THERE WAS AN OWL. In point of fact it was a hassled-looking owl sitting relatively out in the open and looking generally annoyed about everything, so I assumed it was Ecks and posted this to Facebook once I had stopped kermit-flailing. (Those are baby something-or-others in the top picture.)

I immediately texted my neighbors to let them know ZOMG OWL, and my text actually crossed mid-ether with a text from my neighbor: “I just saw two owls crash into each other and then one flew into your yard!” Heh, he said “crash into each other.” I sent him a link to the exciting owl-porn video I captured in 2016 and he replied “Yes! Exactly that!”

So now I had to reevaluate what I had just seen: a bird who looked sort of kerfluffled who flew into my yard immediately after an exciting round of bird sex and perched feet away from the nest tree.

And this is what I think. I think this is a picture of Henrietta. I think something happened to Ecks over the winter or in early spring. I think Henrietta, like Owlbert, did her level best and recruited a new mate and tried to see if she could make 2018 happen. And like Owlbert, she didn’t succeed.

But Owlbert and Lola have been hooting up a storm, out there in Tulsa, and they don’t appear to have given up. Owlbert likes to dip into the nest and make sure it’s all shiny and ready for next year. I haven’t seen Henrietta do that, but I know she likes that nest-hole, and I’m going to believe she wants to come back. So I’m hanging in there for 2019, y’all. And I hope you join me.