"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We Have Barn Owls In Our Tree!

I was cleaning up the patio late Friday evening when I heard the first familiar shriek from a nearby tree.  The sun had already set and I could just barely see the dead leafless tree in my neighbors' field where the sound was coming from.  I dashed in the house for the binoculars hoping to get a good look at what I hoped would be the Barn Owl.  Sure enough there were two adults in the tree.  Lots of flapping of wings and more shrieks; this along with some flying back and forth to another nearby tree.  I could hear what I thought must be their Owlet's from one tree, calling back to the adults.  I kept looking through the binoculars hoping to see them fly from the nest but could not get them in view and I wasn't really sure which tree the return calls were coming from.  This went on for several hours and it was about 10:30 pm when I finally went in the house.

Over the next few evening's I continued to hear the efforts of the parents to get their fledgling's to fly and checked a few times, but never saw them.

Late Monday night I heard shrieks again, this time it was so much closer.  I carefully opened the sliding glass door off the master bedroom; oh my gosh I thought, they must be in our pine tree!  I quickly went to get my husband Tony.

We both stayed there, in the darkness listening to the adults call for the babies.  I remember thinking how lucky we were to be a part of this.  We heard the flapping of wings and what must be the young ones landing in the tree.  I couldn't believe it; I was thrilled to think that they had brought the family to our tree.  I thought about this all evening, and how special I felt that these beautiful birds were so close to us.  Owlets in our tree!

I forgot about looking for them the next morning; then last evening we both heard the Mockingbird chattering at what I thought was probably a neighbor's cat in the backyard.  I went out on the patio to investigate and could not find anything around the house.

Then I remembered about the Owls, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a small Barn Owl.  I hurried in the house to get the binoculars and to get Tony.

 I began searching the tree and discovered another larger Barn Owl.  Tony went inside after this second sighting thinking that was all there were.  I stayed out and kept searching the tree only to discover another one!  I went back to the screen door and called to Tony "there are three Owls." "Wow" was his response, but he didn't come out to see the third one.  Back I went to the tree with my binoculars in hand.  Searching, searching…one more Owl!  Back to the screen door I go to tell him. "Tony we have four Owls in the tree!" "Wow" was his reply; still not coming out to see them.  Again I go back to the tree; looking up I notice some fluttering and see that one of the adult Owls had moved to another branch, there I see all three smaller Owls with this adult right above them.  It was almost as if she wanted me to see she had three babies; more than likely she was protecting them from my intruding gaze.  The other adult was on a nearby branch watching me.

Back to the screen door I go and call out “Tony, we have five Owls in our tree!” This time out he came. “Five, WOW that is incredible." Now I am thinking well hell yes that is incredible, how many people can say they even have two Barn Owls in their tree, and we have five!

They are still here this morning, but they are hiding the babies so this is the best picture I could get at 6:00 AM. I will try to take a few more photos this evening.  I feel like a Grandparent!

This picture is of the two adults. The Owlets are to the right under a lot of thick branches. I can see them, but was not able to get a good photo.

One of the Owlets (added June 11)

This photo is of Our Visitor last year. I like to believe that it came back with its family this year.

It seems to me I’d like to go
Where bells don’t ring nor whistles blow;
Where clocks don’t strike and gongs don’t sound
And I’d have stillness all around—
Not real still stillness, but just the trees’
Low whisperings, or the hum of bees,
Or brooks’ faint babbling over stones
In strangely, softly tangled tones.
Or maybe a cricket or a katydid,
Or the songs of birds in the hedges hid,
Or just some such sweet sounds as these
To fill a tired heart with ease.



  1. How cool ! I love this post, I love owls. we have many in our neighborhood in the big oak trees. I hear them on my walks at dusk, thanks ! Gina

  2. Gina, thank you for stopping by. I love them too. They are majestical, and during the day so much at peace.

  3. How very exciting and wonderful.

  4. Wow this is bird week on the blogs. Great pictures thanks for the post. I will be happy to trade you some Barn Owls for a pesky Great Blue Heron that loves to haunt my fish pond :o(

  5. P.S.

    Check my June 7th Picture of the PEST!

  6. Congratulations! How lucky you are! We have an owl nearby, but we only hear him (or her) in the early evenings. I would love to get a glimpse, and a picture would be the ultimate!

  7. Five is a serious number! Congratulations and thank you for the pictures!!! I also love your blog's header picture!

  8. What a beautiful blog and having Barn Owls is a wonderful thing. One night I looked out our front door window and there was a screech owl on our bird feeding box! Nature is a wonderful thing! Thanks for following my blog!

  9. I love owls! How cool is this?!

    I love the musci by the way. I recognized the Legends of The Fall theme right away! I watched that movie a lot when it first came out.

  10. Each morning I go outside to see if they are still here. They are! I only see the tree Owlets on most days; could be the adults are higher up or in a newby tree. I just love that they are staying here. I know that they are safe here and they must know this too.


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog, I love hearing from you, stay as long as you like, Carla