Look Out Mice!

Remember the poor beleaguered owlet that was taught a very powerful lesson about the daytime pecking order? Well, I was fortunate last week to stumble across the whole family.

Since the daytime temps and the humidity have been rising I’ve adopted a more crepuscular lifestyle; on the beach before noon, back to my house for lunch, then some sort of outdoor activity in the two hours before dusk.

The benefit to a nature stroll at that time of day is that wildlife viewing opportunities double: the diurnal animals are making the best of the remaining daylight before going home to rest, while the nocturnal ones are emerging and preparing for their night.

From right to left: I first located and spent time admiring one of the parents. I can’t be 100% positive but it seemed like the smaller of the two parents, so I’m going to call him Dad. Several soft chirps let me know there were other owls nearby. Then I spotted an owlet alone on a limb in the next tree over. Dad spooked when people walked by and I followed him to the top of a nearby pine where he settled next to another owlet. As I returned to the trail, I found Mom in a tree near the first owlet. Unlike the other day, this time the parents were keeping a good eye on their babies.

All I can say is, look out mice!



Categories: Nature Notes

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