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.]
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.