Great Horned Owlet: Fresh from the Nest

Bird Movies by Jo,

We’ve had a pair of Great Horned Owls nesting in the woods behind our house for the last seven years. Last winter, they had one owlet, and on his first day out of the nest, I filmed him. When he tests those powerful wings, I can almost feel the potential of flight in my own arms. Wouldn’t you love to be him for an hour and REALLY feel your wings spread?

The tree that had their nest was destroyed last May 31st in a tornado, but we’ve been hearing the pair calling to each other every night since they returned in late August. They coo. The male’s call is slower and deeper; the female’s is higher pitched and faster, a little more fussbudgety. Near the nest, the tall cedars that they roosted in every day were also destroyed by the tornado. The nursery is gone and so is Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom. So we wondered if they would look for a different territory. Apparently not. It’s 7:45 p.m., and I’m listening to them as I type. They’ll mate in January, and the young will be born in late February or early March.

You can see all my films on my YouTube channel: Jo Alwood.

What Squirrel Baffle?

Baffling squirrels is … possible–IF you keep every jumping-off-point to a feeder at least ten feet away. The trick is to know what they might jump from. Flimsy shrubbery will do for these trapeze artists. Do what you can to frustrate them, but also enjoy them as they rise to the challenge.

My movies aren’t always about birds, just mostly. You can see all of my films on my YouTube channel: Jo Alwood

Northern Cardinal

Cardinals don’t sing in winter as the Carolina Wrens do. But the Cardinals are common, and thank goodness for that, since they keep their brilliant plumage year round and don’t migrate. Seen close up, they are a mixture of orangey red and dark reddish orange. Even the bill has those same subtle variations. The Cardinal’s glossy black Van Dyke emphasizes all that red.


Carolina Wren: the Winter Songster

Coupla days ago I heard two male Carolina Wrens singing near each other. I don’t know whether it was a duet or a territorial proclamation, but I’d bet on the latter, just knowing the spunky spirit of wrens in general. What I DO know is that, although the song was similar to a Cardinal’s, it was a Carolina Wren. He is the winter songster. Both birds sound a lot alike, and it can take some patience to tell them apart. But the Cardinal isn’t going to start singing again in Missouri until the latter half of January.

You can see all my movies on my YouTube channel: Jo Alwood