Thursday, May 3, 2007

Eastern Screech Owl

You never know when you might see an exciting wildlife event. I was getting ready to mow my backyard when I heard a couple starlings scolding. (I heard them even through the ear plugs I wear when running the lawn mower.) I walked over to them and saw a cardinal flying around also agitated. Then I looked on the ground and saw this Eastern Screech Owl. I went inside and got my camera to get this photo. (Its left eye is lit up orange because I had to use the camera's flash.) The owl was swinging its head around to look at me, then the starlings, then the cardinal. It looked like it was feeling quite harassed. But it didn't fly off even though I got pretty close. Finally I realized it was standing on another bird it had caught -- a Downy Woodpecker. I was sad to see one of my favorite neighborhood birds get eaten, but I'm glad it was eaten by another neighborhood bird.

Coincidentally I just wrote a Birding on Broadmeade article about our neighborhood owls, including this one. It's here. I've been doing a bunch of birding for the past week or so since spring migration is peaking right now. I plan on writing a summary blog entry about it soon.

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