Last Sunday I received a call from Ramona Latham at the Cape Ann Discovery Center (Ravenswood). She told me that a Barred Owl had set up a nest for her babies in one of the treetops. While I was snapping photos of the baby owls, the Mama* owl stopped by with lunch for her children. A nice plump snake! I have never seen an owl in real life, so this bit of luck was a special treat. Some quick facts about the barred owl:
· Commonly referred to as a “Hoot Owl.” Listen to its call here: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/Song/h3680so.mp3
· A Barred Owl’s wingspan can reach 44 inches.
· They typically hunt at night or at dusk by sitting on a high perch, looking and listening for prey, which they catch with a short flight or drop to the ground.
· Adult Barred Owls swallow their prey whole. Their stomach acids digest the soft parts, and then they regurgitate a pellet containing the bones and hair.
· Barred Owls sometimes go fishing. They will wade knee-deep in water and catch fish with their feet.
· Barred Owls generally live alone except when mating or raising young, and are known to find the same mate every year.
Thanks to Ramona for her phone call. If you want to visit the Discovery Center or Ravenswood, click here for more info: http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma/ravenswood-park.html. Ramona runs a variety of fun and educational programs for children and adults throughout the year. Don’t miss out!
*This owl may have been the Papa owl too, no disrespect intended! J