Barred Owl In Snowy Altona Forest
Our morning got off to a slow start hunkered down as we were against a cold winter day. By early afternoon, Bob and I decided that we needed some fresh air and exercise. We had heard that a Barred Owl sometimes frequents Altona Forest in Pickering, Ontario, but we never expected to actually find it.
At Lacey’s Pond, there was no sign of the beavers that make their home there, but a proliferation of animal tracks created wonderful designs on the snow-covered wetland.
The dense crowns of the Cedar Trees made it difficult for the sun’s rays to penetrate to the forest floor.
Eerie silence met our ears as we strained to hear any telltale sounds of bird or animal activity.
As usual, I was leading the way. It is a benefit to me because Bob’s height blocks my view of the trail if I’m bringing up the rear. Despite looking carefully, I walked right beneath this Barred Owl without noticing it perched a mere 15 feet above me.
Bob subtly got my attention, and as I turned, the Barred Owl’s eyes met mine.
For a closer look, I grabbed my binoculars then retreated a fair distance. I didn’t want to spook the owl.
Another equally large tree was within steps, so I slid behind the ample trunk and allowed only my camera lens to poke out at the side of the tree.
A Barred Owl’s large dark brown eyes are an indication that this species prefers to hunt at night. The owl’s eyes appear blue in this photo because of the way light is reflected in them.
Bob and I lingered for only a few minutes so that the Barred Owl would not feel threatened.
In fact, the Barred Owl looked like it was settling in for a snooze by the time that we walked on.
Judging by the sun’s halo, Bob and I figured bad weather was lurking. All the more reason to let the Barred Owl muster its energy for the evening’s hunt ahead of a serious snowfall.
Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean