Saturday, July 28, 2007

Passing The Barr

So, you wanna be one of us?
You'll have to pass the Barr exam, so get ready to take notes.

It's not easy being a Barred Owl. Your meals are always uncooperative, not like the Turkey Vulture's meals ... man, does he have it easy. Still, the whole carrion breath thing is kind of a drag.

I'm always on the lookout for a meal or a threat. I'm not the top flying predator here, a Great Horned Owl could take me if I drop my guard. Then there are those pesky blue jays and their crow cousins ... not a threat, but what a rude bunch. They never miss a chance to harass me.

Sometimes I imagine I'm a peregrine and I swoop right into a flock of crows and ...

... sorry, where was I?

Right, I was expounding on what it takes to be a successful barred owl. Well, as I implied above, you must be ever vigilant ... hey, what's that down there?

Excuse me.



Got em!

First, a quick glance to check for ground predators and then ...




... a quick killing bite.


Can't see what I got? Neither could the photographer, but he said it sounded very crunchy.

Being on the ground is really dangerous for me ... excuse me.


Gotta fly!

It's safer back here in my office.

If I wanted to spend time on the ground I'd have been a quail.

The real action happens after dark of course. You'll enjoy that part of the Barr exam preparatory course. It won't be long now, the sun is setting.

What?

WHO, WHO CAN'T see in the dark?

YOU?

YOU are in the wrong class, there's a strict vision requirement.

Sorry.

There may still be time to enroll in the Vulture's class, just a few words of advice if you go that route.

Breath mints.

17 comments:

Deb said...

FC, you should write for nature magazines. Great post!

I heard a barred owl hooting early this morning.

robin andrea said...

Great story and documentation, FC. I love your owl pics. We never see or hear them here, although, we know they are around somewhere. Quite a fine bird you have there, and a very good teacher.

Joni said...

Great story. Did he really put up with you clicking away all that time? Fantastic.

threecollie said...

I am going to pass on that vulture class... there just aren't enough breath mints in the world.
Great post...admirable photography and fun text!

tim said...

I've been reading you for a long time, and this is my favorite post ever. What a gorgeous bird.

Sharon said...

LOL!! That was great. And a little gross. But great! :)

Laura said...

FC these are awesome photos. I've always loved the barred owl because their faces are so expressive. I agree, you should be writing for Nature magazines, too!

Found the post you mentioned earlier about the Pithlaschotchee river (sp), that's not the way it's spelled, is it? arrrgh
Sounds like a great mini vaction for next week. Cant wait to see your pics and stories.

SophieMae said...

Who cooks for you?!

You have definitely outdone yourownself! Outstanding pictures! I do believe it's unanimous... you've missed your calling! 8-]

There were three screech owls calling near the edges of our yard last night, but we didn't see a one. I keep looking.

ImagineMel said...

have fun next week! Wish I was going there instead of where I'll be! Make the boy behave! :)

rcwbiologist said...

Great action shots. And great writing. Where were you to get these shots? a blind?

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
Thanks! Tickled that you like it!

Robin,
I wish I could loan you this guy. I could post different barred owl pic posts each week if I wanted. They love my place.

Joni,
Thanks, yes, he just went about his business as I photo'd him. I am pretty sneaky.

ThreeCollie,
Me too, not enough mints or listerine.

Tim,
Hey thanks for the comment and welcome!

Sharon,
I take it you are not interested in the vulture class?
Me neither.

Laura,
The locals there just call it the 'Cotee river ... as in Cotee Jigs that Rick probably is familiar with.
Good luck scalloping. Thanks for the photo/writing encouragement.
That's a cool chat widget at Vitaminsea.

Sophie,
I loved your swallowtail kite photos yesterday. I could hear kites calling today, but could not spot them.

Mel,
He'll be good or he'll walk the plank!
Hey, I have a community service form for you and J. to sign for the Waca clean up hours.

RCW,
I never left my porch dude.
The barred owls raise chicks on my property every year and we all get used to each other. This guy continued to do his thing while I stood on my porch and braced myself against a porch column to steady the camera. It was dusk and the light was fading fast.

Sandy said...

That was a great story with great pictures. Everyone is right...You should write for one of those nature magazines...but I've always thought that.

Schiplady said...

FC - Your pictures are great and I can truly appreciate your love of nature. When I lived in Florida we had a pair of screech owls and a pair of another kind of owl that lived in the Australian pine trees that surrounded our house. I miss the owls and the trees. Hopefully our house will sell soon and we will be in the mountains again with trees and creatures......

Floridacracker said...

Sandy,
Thanks, I did once, but I got married, raised kids, and the magazine freelancing fell to the wayside. Lately, I've had the bug to jump back in.

Schiplady,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
Thanks for commenting! You must have lived in south Florida if you had Aussie pines around you. I hope you are in those mountains soon.

Wren said...

What a delight - I'm enjoying the great photos and the LOL narrative.

You live in paradise!

Floridacracker said...

Wren,
Glad you liked it.
Paradise lost in much of the state, but there is still so much to be thankful for.

Cathy said...

This is my third comment on your blog tonight. I'm so behind. But now I'm fawning. Please ignore my gushing over your posts. Honestly, FC. It's the best thing in blogdom. The photos - the narratives. It just makes me happy. (If my blogging buddies read this I hope they'll know that they're all close seconds :0)