Hi All,

Back in the 1990s when Nancy and I lived near Albany, New York we saw a
Barred Owl eating earthworms one late March evening. The owl sat on a fence
and pounced on worms when they appeared on the soil's surface during an
early spring rain. I expect a diet of worms is a largely spring phenomenon
before amphibians and reptiles are more numerous later during the warm
months. I imagine Barred Owls also haunt vernal pools to snack on
salamanders and frogs in early spring.

Good Birding,

Walter Ellison

Chestertown, Maryland

On Sun, Apr 2, 2017 at 9:59 AM, Tyler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm curious if anyone else on this listserv has observed this behavior in
> Barred Owls before. I have found a small amount of literature on this, but
> it doesn't seem to be a very common behavior.
> My house has been hosting a Barred Owl every night (from dusk til dawn) in
> an Ash tree in our backyard for over a week now. Sometimes it even shows up
> before sunset. It is always there, no matter what time of night I look out
> there, always on the same branch. I had assumed it was feeding on the many
> rabbits and mice we have running around, but a few nights ago I started
> noticing 'her' dropping down onto the lawn, where there is no brush or
> vegetation anywhere nearby. I thought this would be strangely open
> territory for a mouse to be venturing, and then I saw what she was after.
> She was picking up earthworms. I've been observing her now and it appears
> that she is specializing in hunting worms. Last night I observed a rabbit
> feeding DIRECTLY BELOW HER (her perch is only 6 feet off the ground) and
> she completely ignored the rabbit, flew past it, and returned to her perch
> with another worm.
> Has anyone else observed this vermivorous behavior in owls before?
> Tyler Pockette
> Salisbury

Observing Nature is like unwrapping a big pile of presents every time you
take a walk