Frequent visitor

For the past week we’ve had a frequent visitor at Windhaven, and today I finally got a chance to take some photos.

I was alerted to this Barred Owl’s presence by the alarm calls of numerous songbirds mobbing something. I thought it would be a Screech Owl because the smaller birds don’t usually mess with the big boys (they leave them to the crows and jays). But there it was, trying to take a nap on a lower branch of an oak tree, right between our two bird feeders.

The Barred Owl is between the Great Horned Owl and the Eastern Screech-owl in size (Oklahoma’s two other common owls). The Barred measures about 21 inches long, and has dark eyes; unlike most owls that have yellow eyes.

I have only seen one at a time around the house, usually in the trees near the shed. I haven’t heard it calling a mate, so I have to conclude, so far, that it’s only one bird, but I see it about every third day. I would certainly call that a frequent visitor and a really special one!

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