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Our barred owl


Every night, our barred owl comes down out of the pine trees and perches in a dead tree behind our house. He surveys the neighborhood as he slowly wakes up from his daytime sleep.

I could see his shape silhouetted against a white cloud in the pitch-black sky the other night, so I turned a spotlight on him to examine him more closely. His eyes were huge and black. He flared his wings and hissed at me to turn out the light, because it was ruining his night vision. I did, eventually, because he showed no sign of leaving, and I decided I was tired of annoying him with my light. He is your average barred owl, nothing particularly unusual about him. Staring at him just annoys him.

I looked just now. He is there again. He leaves about this time to go on his nightly hunt, silently gliding away without a sound. Unless you watch his departure, you would not be aware that he has left, because he makes no sound.

He returns about 04:00, announcing his arrival with his “who cooks for you” hoot. He sounds so close that he seems to be sitting on the windowsill. The first few times I heard it, in years past, he startled me out of a sound sleep. Now I ignore it.

He’s just reminding us that we are visitors in his hunting grounds. Perhaps we are his aliens, instead of him being our barred owl.

  1. 2012-12-02T14:10:47-05:00 14:10

    Hi there. Must be great to have a Barred Owl come down to your property every night. I live in Toronto, Canada, and last weekend, my wife, Jean, and I also came upon a Barred Owl out in the forest, near Markham, Ontario. This was the second time in six weeks that we have come upon, and filmed, an owl out in the wilds. If your interested our pictures and video of the Barred Owl sighting are at:

    And our pictures and video of our recent Northern Saw-Whet Owl sighting are also at:


  2. 2012-11-19T21:50:23-05:00 21:50

    Those owls are beautiful.


  3. 2012-11-19T03:42:35-05:00 03:42

    This makes a neat wee story. Nice writing.
    We have Morpork owls here. Have yet to see one, but their call is undeniable, since I’m guessing that’s where they got there name. Really does sound like they’re asking for “More pork”…


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