Friday, May 22, 2015
Barred Owl nesting in residential New Orleans? Never say never!
If you had asked me a week ago whether Barred Owl nests anywhere in residential New Orleans, I would have categorically responded that it does not. Although common in the swamps outside town, and also present (at least at times) in a large forest fragments deeper into the city, I have never caught hint of it occurring in nesting season in any residential 'hood.
So imagine my surprise earlier this week, when I was walking a minor residential street in Harahan looking for Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nests in the curbside oaks*, and looked up to see a Barred Owl resting quietly thirty five feet up in a water oak! And another, presumably its mate, twenty yards away, lounging 40 feet up in a live oak.
A local resident said they have been around at least two years, and that he feeds them "locusts" by his streetlight, but has "not yet" gotten them to come take them from his hand!
This site is typical shade trees over manicured yard, nowhere near the batture or any forest fragment.
Pretty nice way for me to get humbled!
*three nests, by the way- all with large young