A murder of crows cawing loudly and minus 15 degree temps started the
morning off. The crows were so persistent in their calling from the wooded
wetland below our house that I assumed a fox was patrolling the area but I
could see no movement. The crows picked up their cawing and I decided to
sweep the area with binocs to see if I could find the source of their
agitation. I finally spotted a bump on the ground that turned out to be a
great horned owl nestled in the deep snow along the edge of the wooded
wetland and the meadow. My first reaction was that the owl was in trouble
but thought it best to let nature take its course. After 40 minutes of
observing and with temps so bitterly cold, my mind shifted to thinking that
I could capture the owl (having worked with raptors before) and give it a
short respite from the wind and cold temps in my basement. As I trudged
through the snow the owl didn't move increasing my suspicion that the owl
was in poor health. Fortunately as I got closer the owl took off and headed
into a grove of tall pines.
I suspect that the owl may have been in the area because of a large wooden
crate that I use to compost garden leftovers and organics from the kitchen.
Mice and voles have an assortment of goodies to enjoy all winter and I'm
guessing an owl would find the spot attractive.
A good bird to add to the 2013 list.