Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MA - Gill Owls - 01/05/11

Barred Owl - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. January 5th, 2011. Images taken at dusk at a range of about 100 meters using Panasonic Lumix DMC - FZ40.

The New Year has seen quite a bit of owl activity around our home in Gill. Great Horned Owls have been calling on most mornings before dawn, and on the morning of January 4th I heard a new pair calling due East of Gill town center.

I must say, Matan (our three year old) brings his own special kind of luck when it comes to owls. Two evenings ago after sledding I took him to a spot to try for saw-whets. Quite literally, just as I was about to start whistling, a Great Horned Owl called without any prompting no more than 30 meters away to be quickly followed by calling Barred Owl! Needless to say we didn't hear any saw-whets in that spot after that but it was fantastic way to introduce a three year old to owling.

To follow up on what he'd heard, what could have been better for Matan then to have a Barred Owl in his own backyard! Well that's what happened this afternoon. Once again, we were off sledding and this time a handsome Barred Owl appeared on our neighbors property across the street. It was shy but stayed long enough for Matan to get very excited about his first ever sighting of a Barred Owl - very cool indeed.

And this morning in perfect conditions on Mountain Road in Gill, I heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl giving 'chitter' type calls just before dawn. I feel really blessed to have these wonderful birds so close to home.


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