Saturday, May 10, 2008

An Owly Experience

Opportunities abound when you live in the country. You can pee outside, if you want -- I prefer indoor plumbing, but it is still an option. You can see red-tail hawks living in your grove, deer grazing and bunnies frolicking in the sun. The chances of seeing the dogs try to catch the deer and bunnies are pretty good. But, I never expected my dogs to corner an owl in my front yard in the middle of the night.

When I heard the dogs barking I assumed they were tormenting the cat, who had escaped earlier that evening. I was wrong. When I went to the door less than 15 feet from my front door was a horned owl sitting on the ground -- all puffed up -- looking big and mean as she hissed and clicked at the dogs. After getting the dogs inside I had to, of course, take pictures.

We consulted the local sheriff's department and in turn, the state game warden who was on duty, to find out what we should do since she didn't fly off immediately. After talking to both, we checked on him/her and he/she had either waddled off or flown off once she was alone.

Lesson of the night: In the spring owls will kill prey -- usually small stuff like bunnies -- and bring their fledglings, aka baby owls, to the site to let them feed. That's the reason why our owl was on the ground where Rocky and Jasmine could get her.

This morning I heard an owl hooting. I don't think the dogs hurt her.

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