New Neighbor

harryshoe zone6 eastern PennsylvaniaJanuary 11, 2008

I looked up into a large spruce in my front yard and saw this guy. He is a Long Eared Owl who is spending the winter with us.

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devon_in_the_garden

HARRY, what a regal and wonderful neighbor to have. I
love owls. They remind me of some stories that I would
read, when I was a kid. I always loved the wise old owl.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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devon_in_the_garden

HARRY, what a regal and wonderful neighbor to have. I
love owls. They remind me of some stories that I would
read, when I was a kid. I always loved the wise old owl.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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devon_in_the_garden

HARRY, what a regal and wonderful neighbor to have. I
love owls. They remind me of some stories that I would
read, when I was a kid. I always loved the wise old owl.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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devon_in_the_garden

HARRY, what a regal and wonderful neighbor to have. I
love owls. They remind me of some stories that I would
read, when I was a kid. I always loved the wise old owl.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

I like owls. They eat wrabbits!

Nice photo, Harry! As they are nocturnal, I haven't even tried to photo our huge owl that sometimes visits our back yard.

A groundhog has moved back to within 10' of our property line. He had better not come any closer or his burrow will be blessed with a bucket of soggy cigar butts and blood meal. I would hate to chase him into our yard for the present.

Tell us how you managed to photo such a shy denizen of the night?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 9:34AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Fantastic photo!! My husband would LOVE to have one of those sitting in any tree he wanted on our property!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:20AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

You've gotta love that face :)

They eat voles too. Maybe you could encourage it to stay around and nest there in your spruce, a brood of little owlets would be awfully cute in Spring

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:00AM
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kittymoonbeam

Lucky for you! I have a little bat that flies circles every day at dusk over our lawn for 5 minutes or so, then he's gone. I would love to have an owl visit my garden! The next best thing I have seen was a hawk standing on the sidewalk bathing in the neighbor's parkway sprinklers. Nice to see one up close because I usually only see them sitting on light poles looking for prey in the dry grass along the roadsides.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:35AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

What a great picture. My neighbor and I spotted an owl high up in her pecan tree a few weeks ago, but my camera didn't have enough zoom to get a great shot of him. We were tipped off to his presence because the other birds in the area were quite perturbed at him and kept squawking at him. He just ignored them!

Lisa

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:50AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

What a nice visitor. I see them sometimes on my walk in the dark in the morning. I big snowy owl flies big circles above the ground and always spooks the dog. He is getting a last bite to eat before roosting for the day. Wonderful pictures.
Kathy

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 12:01PM
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odie96(z7b SC)

Great pictures!!! We had an owl in our neighborhood and I loved hearing him as he moved each day from tree to tree. I could never get a picture.

A few weeks ago someone shot him. It made me sick and I will miss him this summer when I'm working in the yard.

Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 12:57PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

This owl, along with a few others, have chosen my mature spruce for his daytime home this winter. I have seen 3 some days. This species will roost in groups. The spruce is tightly layered with branches and is very dense. One large opening makes for a perfect entryway. It also give me a vantage point. They don't like flying around during daylight, so they just stare back at me.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:35PM
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michaelalreadytaken

What a gorgeous bird!

Look at the claws/talons/toes on that thing!

I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end!

MichaelAT

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 7:02PM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

Fantastic-looking owl! I've never seen that kind.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 9:02PM
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odie96(z7b SC)

Harry, will you be able to get some more pictures? This one is wonderfull.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:51PM
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labrea_gw

Fantastic shot

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:50PM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

Harry----what a great picture---------Please tell him to come visit me---just a little further south-----

We used to have an owl but I haven't heard him in quite a while.

Thanks for sharing !!!!!

Florence

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 6:44PM
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moodyblue(8)

I think that owl's been eating too many rabits! tee hee! Big ears indeed!

Great shot Harry. What a beauty he is. I enjoyed that picture very much as he is so different than our resident barred owls which incidentally do hunt in the day. I saw one pounce on a rabit with my own eyes, killing it instantly.

Did you know owls with dark eyes are day time hunters and the light eye'd owls are nocturnal.

Here are some pictures of our barred owls. They seem to produce two babies every year.
Looking through my office window

Twins

A favourite shot

Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:06AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Wow those are awesome pictures!! They are such beautiful birds. May they eat every rose-chewing varmit within 50 miles of your gardens!

We have them here--you can hear them hooting back and forth to each other at night. Git them gophers, boys!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 1:38AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I talked to my neighbor this weekend. We reported this sighting on the winter bird count and were met with skepticism. The Long-Eared Owl had not been seen in the last nine years.

This bird is a true night hunter that seeks out dark spots in thick trees for its daytime roost. It can catch mice and voles when there is complete darkness.

I think owls catch our interest because, unlike other birds, their faces have a human quality. They always look right at you, like they are trying to communicate.

I suppose they would probably ask why we have destroyed their habitat.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:00AM
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redsox_gw

The little guy has a lot of character. What is he doing in November of 2008?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:35PM
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moodyblue(8)

That'S pretty exciting Harry. I LOve owls. Ours have been around for about six years, but never before. They are not even in our bird books and we thought it was a "spotted owl" which look similar, but are very, very rare. We even had them portrayed on our B&B website that we had spotted owls. Thank God after seeking a professional opinion, we realized we had mis-identified and pulled it in a hurry. Otherwise,we may have been unindated with bird watchers from far and wide.
The long eared guy is really amazing - and does have the look of a rabbit! Maybe just to make them (bunnies) feel excited that there is another bunny after them! sorta like Little Red Riding Hood! Gasp!
Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 2:21PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Harry that is so neat! This is what Birds of the Carolinas says about them: "A rare winter resident from late October to mid-March, the Long-Eared Owl frequents dense growths of cedars and other evergreen trees. It probably occurs throughout the Carolinas and may be considerably more numerous than the few published records indicate. Because the Long-Eared Owl is mostly silent on winter grounds, it is seldom recorded." The Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds has a map which shows PA as part of their permanent range, with the winter range extending to southern Ga. There is also a note stating that the birds breed very locally within the indicated range.

Pauline those are great pictures! What kind of a camera do you have? We just purchased a Pentax K10D and I told DH that I will be happy when I can take pictures like those. We have Barred Owls on our place too. They are beautiful birds. They've scared the bejeebus out of me a couple of times; occasionally they will start their "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" with a blood-curdling scream.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:33PM
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peachiekean(z10A CA)

Harry, those are really beautiful. We had a nest of two Great Horned Owls a couple of years ago over in the tall Eucalyptus tree. My husband even made a sculpture from a sketch of one of the fledglings when it was on the ground being harassed by the crows.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v605/peachiekean/Owls/
They were eating rabbits and leaving the leftovers around before they finally flew away for good. I won't include those pics (yuck).

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Horned Owls

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:32AM
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