Thursday, June 5, 2014

whiny juvenile Barred Owl at Jean Lafitte

Yesterday I was walking the Coquille Trail in Jean Lafitte National Park south of town, and came upon a Barred Owl perched thirty feet above the trail, unobscured.  It stared down at me and gave a long, high pitched cry- fussing at me.  It repeated this at regular intervals, just seconds apart, while I stood and inspected it through the binculars.  Remnant down on the head confirmed what was already apparent from its behavior:  a recently fledged juvenile.

It kept fussing for minutes, weaving its head side to side in classic owl fashion.  Sometimes when I would move it would give a start, but then settle back down.  Two young  Northern Parulas came in and began chipping at it: pale blue above, white wingbars and underparts, with just a hint of the yellow throat and breast.

The owl eventually flew off into the swamp, but quickly began its cry all over again, now out of sight.


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