The call of the owl
Winter birding in Calgary seems to be all about the owls, and one of the benefits of birdwatching with a group is more eyes and ears to actually find one. While I am thoroughly enjoying the group and learning so much from the leaders, I often prefer to experience nature in solitude as I am able to fully immerse myself in my surroundings and focus on the light, sounds, and details of the scene.
If you are out on your own, another way to find owls is to listen for a flock of smaller birds chirping excitedly; it could mean an owl is near and being mobbed.
The Great Horned Owls were high up in the spruce trees and difficult to see against the trunk. This picture is from the spring when I had a better view.
A real treat for me was seeing a Northern Saw-Whet Owl. They are mostly nocturnal and not often seen during the day. So cute!
This owl was so popular that photographers and birdwatchers were out in droves trying to catch a glimpse, with some even following it into the forest. Poor thing, I’m sure it also wanted a little solitude.
We were also fortunate to see a Barred Owl as they are apparently uncommon in Calgary. I’m not sure if this one was sleepy or coughing up a pellet.
The Snowy Owl is still one of my favourites. I will head out again to try to find a male as the all white feathers and yellow eyes are beautiful.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!