Saturday, August 29, 2015

Parc Perlière Celebrates 111th Yard Bird!

Barred Owl -- Francis Beidler Forest -- June 13, 2009

"Who, Who cooks for You All..."  I heard a muffled version of this from inside the house two nights ago.  At first, I thought the noise was the silly Beagle barking 2 doors down.  But finally, at one point, I heard it clearly and distinctly -- a Barred Owl!  Here on James Island in full suburbia just 2 blocks from Folly Road!  Holy Mackerel!  And so we created an eBird list to record our 111th Yard Bird!  Yea!  Since we were on the eBird site, we decide to investigate how frequently Barred Owls had been recorded on James Island.  I can say that since my earliest childhood, I cannot remember ever hearing a Barred Owl.  Eastern Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls, yes -- but never a Barred Owl.  The sightings map showed exactly 5 -- all in the last 2 years.  Of course, eBird is a more recent phenomenon relatively speaking.  But there are some dedicated birders who have posted all of their bird lists.  Dennis Forsythe, for example, did see (hear?) a Barred Owl on Folly Beach in 1992.  And we also discovered Carl's forgotten sighting of a Barred Owl in James Island County Park this past January.  I remember now my disbelief when he told me.  I think of these birds as being slightly more inland and certainly not in full suburbia. 

Unfortunately, we did not see him, though he was fairly close in the oaks just across or perhaps sitting in some branches over our creek.  He only hooted for about 20 minutes and then nothing.  I would like to hear him again.  The photo above is my best ever Barred Owl photo taken in the Francis Beidler Forest!  Below is another favorite photo taken this year in the Francis Marion National Forest.  Thursday night's owl must have just been passing through as we have not heard him since.  Happy silent flights my secretive night time visitor -- You made mark no. 111 in our recordbook!  Thank you!

Barred Owl eating something? -- Francis Marion Forest -- April 3, 2015

Postscript:  Silly me!  I forgot about my all time favorite photo of a Barred Owl!  It is the one below taken at the Center for Birds of Prey during their flight demonstration.

Barred Owl -- Center for Birds of Prey -- April 2, 2010