We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A friend tried to email an iPhone pic of the Barred Owl snoozing on a branch right off his deck, but the photo didn't come through. Regardless, this is my favorite local owl.
While we usually think of the Barred Owl as a species of the lowlands, and the Great Horned as the similar nighttime predator of the uplands (mice and rabbits get no rest in this world), the Barred can be a regular forest bird. A couple of weeks ago, I heard one every early morning in Georgia in the piney woodland.
We have had a pair nesting in a thick Hemlock grove on a rocky hillside above a flood plain at the Farm for many years. They use an old crow or hawk nest, not a nest hole.
The thing with owls is that it is great fun to see them, but even more fun and weird to hear them. If you are listing birds, hearing is as good as seeing.
Speaking of owls, no pair of Screech Owls have chosen my $45 Screech Owl nest box, and I am disappointed because it is perfectly situated. And at the same time I have seen them use Wood Duck boxes on tiny islands in the middle of ponds, which seems stupid and almost guaranteed to drown the chicks.
Crazy thing about Barred Owl: The experts want to kill thousands of them in the Pacific Northwest because they are "competing" with Spotted Owl. That is how some environmentalists think: Destroy the village to save it. It's like they want to kill immigrants with a slightly different color. Fact is, the Spotted is a west coast variant of the Barred. They interbreed, thus different races, same species.
I am all in favor of trying to destroy invasive species which threaten a stable, precious ecosystem (eg Burmese Python in Everglades, or Australian Pine in Florida and the Bahamas. "Invasive" usually means introduced by man, not critters and plants moving on their own.
I can think of one bird species that moved to North America: The Cattle Egret, blown over to the New World by hurricanes from Africa. They found their niche and fit right in.
Some man-introduced plants never become invasive in the sense of dominating an existing ecosystem. I am thinking of things like the Norway Maple which shades many urban streets, the Norway Spruce, - and the apple. Nobody complains about the occasional wild apple "escape" growing in a brushy forest edge. Some new species dominate, some just fit in unobtrusively and harmlessly.
Killing a Barred Owl is a sin unless you intend to dine on it.
Crazy thing about Barred Owl: The experts want to kill thousands of them in the Pacific Northwest because they are "competing" with Spotted Owl. That is how some environmentalists think: Destroy the village to save it. It's like they want to kill immigrants with a slightly different color.
What we see in the northern cal is that spotted owls won't vocalize because they get attacked by the barred in territorial competition. Not localizing means no mates... so slow death or fast.. they are simply being outcompeted
We have a barred owl in the back yard and hear it most nights. It argues with some other owl, but i haven't heard them fighting.
Assistant Village Idiot
"no pair of Screech Owls have chosen my $45 Screech Owl nest box" I had my brother in law build me a good one and absolutely nothing will build a nest in it. Not a starling, squirrel or the desired owl. I love the owls around our house and wish they wold come more often. When the grandkids are sleeping over I love to read them stories about owls and then hear them calling outside the window.
25 years ago Pacific NW logging towns were decimated by timber harvesting restrictions put in place to protect the Spotted Owl. No one seemed too concerned then, but I suppose it will be different when owls are threatened.
Indeed. The recent Creation Care movement is guilty of this too. During my fifteen years with them I often asked whether they sought God before taking a position favoring one creature over another. Scripture even speaks specifically to the invasive species (cf Matt 3:30). Not one could answer that question without changing the subject.
I worked for the park back then. We knew it was the barred owl. One wag even suggested shooting the barred owls because we knew nothing not even trying to shoot the barred owls would save the spotted owl. Nothing.
Stopping logging was a naked power grab. Thousands lost jobs homes and families. Whole communities were wiped out. To this day the park and feds work to lock up more acres.
Now what we proposed in jest is the last stupid gasp. It's about power and control.