Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sometimes the non-birding spouse is worth listening to

You know, living with us nutso birders sometimes rubs off...NBB unavoidably picks things up from Sharon, Delia's squeeze has been known to pop off some birdy knowledge...and my husband is really, really great at spotting raptors. Most of the time, it's Geoff who sees the red-tailed hawk in the tree, or the red-shouldered hawk resting on the fence.

Today, I was in our bedroom, and he called out, "Honey? I think I see an owl...or a hawk."
Eyes rolling, and thinking, "Good God. Geoff is such a dork. He thinks he sees an owl, in broad daylight in our yard..." I got up and walked to the front window. And damn skippy. He was right. A barred owl:

Sleeping barred owl Front yard 012008
Sleeping in the sun...
I sneaked out (which always makes me laugh at myself...sneaking up on an OWL) and started taking pictures.

Just waking up barred owl yard 012008
"Oh. Good morning. Got any mice?"

Got any mice handy
I had put out some spare mice left over from a program on the fence yesterday, but since it hasn't gotten over 20 degrees lately, they were little mice-cicles, so I guess the owl wasn't too interested. (Though owls will cache food and then "incubate" it later, to thaw it out)

Close up barred owl
It is always so thrilling to see a healthy, whole bird of prey. RAPTOR's birds are either missing a wing or have parts that are at the wrong angle.

Barred owl cedar tree
Sweet, huh?

Yesterday I mentioned that barred owls are called the "Old Men of the Forest"...
Imagine walking through the woods and glancing up to look into this face:

Old Man of the Forest
I think that would frost my shorts, at least for a second.
I have seen a barred owl here a total of two times since we moving in here 8 years ago. But it has been so long since I have seen or heard one, I wondered if they had moved on. It's nice to know that they still think our place is great. I think we need a nesting box. How precious would that be, to see baby owlets in the Spring? teeth hurt just thinking about it.

Now, I thought Geoff finding the owl was pretty groovy. But when he started doing this, I was reminded why I am so lucky to have him.

Ladies, I present the sexiest thing a man can do:

The sexiest thing a man can do
You're jealous. You know you are.


mon@rch said...

very cool that he found this barred out your window! Bravo photos and that reminds me that I need to do something around the house.

Lynne said...

You are too lucky for words!

nina said...

Hey, no fair! She always finds the owl! (and then posts perfect pictures of its big brown eyes)

Grace, Every Day said...

Great pics. I'm hooked.

'Mice-cicles' - EXTREMELY funny!

And me? I go for the guy who's got his hands in soapy water, washing dishes. That's what I think is the sexiest thing EVER...

...of course, I remain unmarried. And I do my own dishes.


LauraHinNJ said...

I'll not tell you what I think is sexy, but.. vacuuming has not a thing to do with it!


I'm very, very jealous that you should have a Barred Owl in your yard! God - how cool is that? Really, you should try a nest box maybe!

Laura said...

An owl ... in your yard ... that is soooooo neat! And even more impressive that you managed to get photos. Nicely done!

Amy said...

Good eye Geoff! And nice technique on the vacuum. If my hubby ever vacuumed I would drop dead of shock. Just yesterday I caught him (yes, CAUGHT him) cleaning the toilet. Mmm hmm! You betcha! He said, "Don't tell my wife or she'll expect me to do it all the time!"

Great owl shots. I'm sooo jealous it's not even funny. I have yet to see any of the Screech owls and I've seen the GHOs only a few times and I friggin' GREW UP OUT HERE! Course it only makes sense that I can't see them cause now I'm actually looking for them! Great post Susan, I loved it!

Mary C said...

That is amazing. Posting one day about the barred owl at Raptor, and then seeing one "in the wild" in your yard, no less, on the following day. And how funny, it takes one's spouse to notice these birds. My husband is the same way; doesn't want to do birding, but always seems to find some exceptional species both in our yard and out in the field. It's nice knowing we can depend on them as an extra pair of eyes. And it doesn't hurt when they can pitch in and help with the housework. Great photos, Susan. Thanks for sharing.

NatureWoman said...

That last photo is a rare species Susan! I *am* very jealous!! LOL!!

nina said...

Went to CNC this afternoon.
Guess whoooooooo I saw?!
Yep! Full moon rising, too.
What a gift!

Mary said...

Geoff is the sexiest man I know. Hands down. If Michael would pick up the vacuum for me...there's no tellin'.

And he even knows there's something worth seeing out there! I am blown away at that owl. Snoozing while you sneak up on it. Wow. I am jealous.

Anonymous said...

This just truly is not fair! Great post! Great pics! Great husband! Great backyard sneaker-upper-photographer!

Julie Zickefoose said...

You asked what it takes to make the Chimp jealous? A photogenic barred owl in the yard and a vacuuming husband. Yass, that does it. Truly, your cup doth run over, and no longer, thankfully, with vomit...