Barred Owls are year-round residents of the 5.4-acre wooded property on which our home is located. One day last May, while walking on my driveway, I happened to notice a juvenile sitting on a relatively low tree branch alongside the driveway. It must not have been too fearful, for it waited for me to go into the house, grab my camera and telephoto lens, and walk up to a tree on the opposite side of the driveway. Using that tree for steadying my camera, I was able to take as many shots as I wish while the owl sat and stared at me.
Donnette wanted to see if she could change the owl’s “pose,” so she started walking across the driveway toward the owl’s tree. At that point, an adult owl, presumably either the father or mother of the juvenile, let out its characteristic “Who cooks for you?” call from somewhere above and to the right of the juvenile. This distracted the juvenile momentarily as it looked back toward the adult but did not leave its perch.
The juvenile continued to watch Donnette as she approached and stopped in the driveway next to the tree. The owl still showed no fear with Donnette being so close; it just watched her instead of me.
This was apparently too much for the adult owl, which then moved to a tree much closer to the juvenile. I guess that convinced the juvenile that it was in danger, because it suddenly turned toward the adult and was clearly preparing to take flight.
And so the show ended …