It’s been an exciting 24 hours for my lifer bird list!
This afternoon, Mike and I headed out during third period to take a compass bearing for an activity we will do Saturday and to switch out the camera trap memory cards. We walked across the sports field and followed the path into the fragment of forest that sits between our campus, the Little League Fields, and the elementary school. It’s a wide path, lined by trees on one side and a man-made pond on the other.
Suddenly, a large bird took off from a tree on our right and silently flew towards the other side of the pond. It was an owl! I’ve only seen an owl in the wild once since I started learning about birding so I was shocked. It was the middle of the day!
As I was contemplating this fact, Mike paused and called out to me. He called my name quietly and said, “There’s another one. In the hemlock right there!”. And there was! Another great horned owl was peering down at us from the hemlock tree right off the path. They two owls must have been mates, as they are territorial birds who mate for life. Of course, I did not have my real camera with me so I snapped a few very, very zoomed-in pictures with my iPhone before he or she silently flew off in the same direction as the first one.
At this point, I was giddy. In 24 hours I had seen cedar waxwings and two great horned owl! And then the day got even better. We switched out the cameras and brought the memory card inside. Upon loading it onto the computer I saw that the camera had taken 3100 pictures. Oh boy, I thought. This is going to take a while….
I began scanning the pictures and saving the ones with animals and birds in them; there were deer, raccoons, woodchucks, birds, squirrels, a red fox, and maybe a flying squirrel.
Then I saw this.
At 2:19am on 3/6, an owl swoops in front of the camera! Can you believe it? I was shocked and thrilled. The odds of the camera getting any pictures of an owl are slim to none. But getting pictures of one hunting? Incredible!