Sunday, November 22, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 21, 2015, 11:11 AM.  Once again the birds were absolutely silent as I walked through the wooded canyon between Corralitas, Lake View and Riverside Place, so I looked up. The owl was not pleased to see me.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Since my encounter earlier in the week with a Great Horned Owl and a really pissed-off Cooper's Hawk, I knew where to look in the pine trees.  Naturally, the Great Horned Owl was in the most dense part of the tree.  This time, it was awake and cleaning its chest feathers.  No Cooper's Hawks, nor any orther birds were around to harass it.  The light was hitting it just perfectly.  I spent several minutes trying to find a clear shot.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 21, 2015.  If you look closely, you can see its "horns." I'm always impressed at how well Great Horned Owls' horizontal pattern on the chest and abdomen feathers aid in their camouflage among the pine needles.  

After 10 minutes, the light shifted and it was an impossible shot again.  This was just pure luck and knowing wildlife tend to be creatures of habit, in this case, sleeping in the same tree every day.

Neighbors report hearing owls in the neighborhood lately, particularly in the canyon area, where there are usually lot of squirrels.

Learn more about Great Horned Owls: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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