Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Owl Prowl

Last Monday, while camping, we went on an owl prowl. We met at 7:30pm and the naturalist talked with us a bit about the three owls in the park- the barred owl, the eastern screech owl, and the great horned owl. She told us only the screech owl was found in the northern end of the park and we likely wouldn't see any at all! I think she said it four times and told us not to be disappointed that we didn't see an owl and she hadn't seen any at all this summer yet. She added that she had a cataract (one left and one surgery down) so she wouldn't see anything. We'd have to do the spotting. Sufficiently encouraged for a good night walk with no owl sitings, we took off down the same trail we'd biked on earlier in the day. The naturalist called for owls now and then while we waited in silence. No answers. After a time, Dan decided to take J6 back to camp. It was about 8:30pm after all and he was beat after a long day. Not long after Dan left, R11 says "I see an owl!"

Amazingly, I looked up into the tree where she pointed and there it was. A barred owl. What a stunning sight! It was a large owl with just the right markings for a barred owl. It was in the crook of a tree branch, but it was far enough from the trunk to see it's whole form. All the kids left were able to see it, but the other adults were not convinced until the owl turned and took off. It had a huge wingspan!  It was high in the tree but on the first branch and probably 30 feet from us.

public domain- barred owl

The call of the barred owl- it has a really fine call so have a listen! It was a great hike and would have been a good time even without the owl siting. If you'd like to find out more about owls, have a look at The Lab of Ornithology's Owl Prowl- with lots of owl information! We did learn that we wouldn't hear any Great Horned Owls because they call and mate in December which explains the setting of Owl Moon, doesn't it? It's cold when you try and see Great Horned Owls!

As we were getting ready for sleeping that night, I told R11 that surely God had placed that owl in the tree just for us and she told me that she'd prayed that God would show us an owl. It was a divine moment for certain. I'm so thankful for little girls with owl prayers and for the Owl-Prayer-Answering God we serve.


SarahElisabeth said...

Wow-we recently rowed Owl Moon and hear owls on holiday almost certainly tawny owls being in Wales. We didn't get to see one though. What a wonderful memory.

Anonymous said...

Got to love our God for hearing an owl prayer and making arrangements! How very cool!