Finally...we have an owl--just look at him!!!
Welcome to Patrick O'Neilly! Adam named him that since he showed up on St. Patrick's Day. That seems like good luck, doesn't it? I think he (or she...Violet insists it's a girl) is a barred owl - Latin name Strix varia. This is the sound he makes. Go listen! This is the sound I hear at night when we sleep with the windows open. I love waking up in the middle of the night to hooting owls, howling coyotes, and quarreling raccoon. Well, maybe not the raccoons so much. Oh, and frogs! I just started hearing frogs and crickets for the first time this year.
(photo by Cassie Willis--didn't she get a great photo of the owl playing in the water? Grooming, fishing, whatever it's doing. This looks a lot like our swamp, too.)
Here's the description from the owl website: The Barred Owl is a highly vocal Owl giving a loud and resounding "hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo" which is often phrased as "Who, cooks, for-you? Who, cooks, for-you, all?" - The last syllable drops off noticeably. Click here for a link to all the barred owl calls.
No wonder I like that little owl-I can relate. Who cooks for you? I do. Who cooks for you all? I do!
He's been here for two nights now, and he pops his head out around dusk and sits there for an hour. I watched him at dawn this morning while I ate breakfast, too.
"Quack. I'm a stupid duck. Quack. Look at me-I'm in the owl box!"
All last year, some stupid awkward duck moved into my owl box. It was way too big for the box, and could barely squeeze its big duck butt inside. It would stick its head out and just stare at me. It seemed like a particularly stupid duck, too. I'm sure it was perfectly nice, but I had my heart set on an owl, hence the 'owl box' made to owl specifications. So that duck irritated me to no end.
We built the owl box three years ago...see? Violet was Piper's size. It's to the right of the little brown shed, see it? It's hard to see...in the far right of the photo. Just follow the smoke. It's like a new Pope has been elected, yes? But instead, it's a new Owl. Perhaps we should have named him Francis.
Come to think of it, that poor little owl might not appreciate all that smoke blowing into his new house. He's probably complaining about us to his owl wife right now. "They're the trashiest people...always blowing smoke right into our living room. Isn't that rude? And they're so tall and weird-looking."
It's just an owl, you may say, but I'm so excited! It may seem silly, but I loved the thought of having an owl living outside the studio. We built this box directly across from my studio windows. I have an owl!!!!
I love owls, and I am jealous. Congratulations on having one move in the custom owl box. We have barred and great horned. But the barred chase the others away, sadly. When I hear the call I always get up and open my window wider, hoping for a fly-by. Last fly-by was right in front of Buffy's nose. That was very cool.
Posted by: Charlotte | March 19, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Owls are the bestest!! Drinks for everyone, hiccups galore!! Patrick O'Neilly rapping at your door ;)
Posted by: Vanessa | March 19, 2013 at 08:24 PM
ps: Every evening about now, a big grey owl goes to the top of the hugest eucalyptus tree, and hoots. Last night I was sleeping (have been sleeping with windows open for about a week) and the coyotes howled like banshees for a long time. It woke Miles and Matty up who were sleeping on each side of me, and they sat up and howled too. It was lovely. Oh and crickets galore, although they torment me so when they get in the house. I go mad.
Posted by: Vanessa | March 19, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Cool! There's a Barred Owl that hangs out in my new neighborhood. I haven't heard him yet, though.
Posted by: Maria | March 20, 2013 at 05:46 AM
Yay! You get to see owl babies! That's so exciting! :D
Posted by: Leah | March 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM