Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Owl time

Seward, Alaska

On Sunday, April 16, I received two separate reports of NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS calling around 11 pm in the Bear Lake area.

This evening just after 10 pm when it was amazingly not yet dark, I spotted a large bird fly across the street. At first I thought it was an unusual, very late-flying Raven, but then I heard a GREAT-HORNED OWL hooting nearby. Another answered, even closer. Wow!

Happily, a neighbor popped up with binocs and we watched the Great-horned Owl perched at the top of a spruce tree in the deepening twilight. I had imagined an owl sitting stiffly upright like a plastic bird detractor when it hooted, but no! This owl put some pizzazz into his performance, leaning far forward, all fluffed up, and flipped his tail upwards to deliver his loud, deep hoots. It seemed the underside of the tail flashed white. Very impressive and so fun to be able to actually SEE a Great Horned Owl calling.

Another neighbor drove up and reported a Saw-whet Owl had just flown across Nash Road front of her car. As we listened and visited, the Great Horned Owl flew silently overhead, down the street and back to the mountainside where its mysterious and secretive night continued.

What a fabulous bonus for the walk around the block!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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