I was fortunate to have an encounter with a Long-eared Owl a few days before Christmas. A species of Owl that I love for it's mastering of the camouflage, and because of that, a species of Owl I don't spot very often. I went almost 2 full years without seeing this species until last winter. I ended up with 2 encounters 3 months apart and I was very grateful. I'm always looking for birds when out and about, never really knowing what I will see in my travels. So chancing upon this bird a few days ago was pretty awesome. I've taught myself to never expect anything, just go out and enjoy what presents itself. I am never disappointed this way.
They are really difficult to spot. I've been a victim of not being able to see such birds when out with friends, finding myself getting frustrated as I try to spot what they are admiring with easy view. We've all been a victim of this and not just with Owls as those teeny tiny bouncy Warbler birds can make us crazy as they hop about the trees in the Spring.
Can you spot the Owl in the photo below?
All my bird nerd friends can testify the thrill of spotting Owls especially finding one on their own.
It was a dark dreary cold windy morning and I went out for a walk in the woods anyway. A day many others would think I was nuts to go out on. It didn't make great lighting for pictures but that's not my intent for the outings... photos are a bonus.
I like to think this sighting was a reward for heading out on foot, saying "f**k the elements!" I enjoyed hand feeding Chickadees and Nuthatches that morning as well. The birds are always happy to come for a feed on such chilly days! A bud of mine jokes about how we must pay to the watchers of the woods with these seed offerings. Maybe he's right?
I was grinning ear to ear. Could any more cool shit happen in this outing? The answer is "YES!" I found a twenty dollar bill on the ground near my truck! I know it was not mine because I only went out with a handful of change to get a coffee somewhere in my travels.
So to all reading this blog. Get outside! Enjoy the birds and whatever nature throws at us! You may be rewarded.
Happy New Year!