by John Deming

On Friday (5/13/16) I was clearing brush along our drive and noticed this owl hopping in the may apples. I assumed it was after a mouse or something and thought it would make a good picture if I could capture it with its catch. Off to the house to get the forbidden equipment, but I needed to take the risk. [John borrowed the camera belonging to his wife, Diane, which is normally not permitted.]


Photo: John Deming

Upon my return, I found this owlet working its way up a tree. Barred owlets are notorious for falling out of their nests before their wings are fully developed. Without a helicopter parent to extract them from this situation, the owlet uses its talons to literally walk up the side of the tree. It goes in small bursts of 2 to 4 feet at a crack, flapping its wings as additional help in propelling itself up this nearly vertical surface. It will use not only its wings and talons but also its beak. It took 5 to 7 minutes for the owlet to go from the ground to 30-feet in the air. Notice the coal black eyes of the bird; a very distinctive feature of this particular owl.

Owlet in tree

Photo: John Deming

 Maybe what we could learn from this event is that we might better serve the youth of our community by allowing them to extract themselves from the dilemmas they get themselves into.