You know it's been a long winter when I find myself repeatedly whistling the tune to The Weather Channel...
The view outside our front door yesterday.
As with any petting zoo there were those who were rather reserved and stand-off-ish... :)
More photos while on vacation... Evan and friends at a Raptor Hill Falconer's Wildlife Sanctuary presentation with OBIE, the very cute barn owl. The detail on his feathers was breathtaking!
Interesting Facts about Barn Owls: The barn owl has exceptionally keen hearing and eyesight, making it a very effective hunter. It can see during the day, but its relatively small eyes (for an owl) are directed forward and are better adapted for night vision. The ears are asymmetrical; one is level with the nostril and the other is higher, nearer the forehead. They are covered with feathered flaps that close for loud noises and open for soft sounds. The barn owl's hearing is so sharp that it can easily hunt for voles and shrews, which are often concealed from view as they travel in runways beneath the grass. A family of 2 adults and 6 young may consume over 1,000 rodents during the 3-month nesting period.
Barn owls make a wide variety of sounds. The most common adult sounds are alarm shrieks, conversational calls (shorter, less intense shrieks), and a rapid squeaking or ticking, which is associated with the pair. The rasping, food-begging call of the young can be heard almost continuously from soon after sunset until just before sunrise. The young also hiss and bill-click when disturbed.
While perched, the barn owl has a habit of lowering its head and swaying from side to side. The bird sleeps so soundly during the day that it is difficult to wake it up until darkness arrives.
Other names for the barn owl are golden owl, white owl, monkey-faced owl and white-breasted barn owl.
While on vacation in VA, we attended this really cool raptor presentation by Jennifer Westhoff of the Raptor Hill Falconer's Wildlife Sanctuary. Here's Evan holding the lanner falcon, Lily.
The birds in our yard have had a tough time of it. The baby robins in this nest didn't make it... We were monitoring their downy little heads daily, then sadly, one day they disappeared -- most likely by a predator.
HOWEVER, a pair of wrens built a nest in the folds of our a/c unit cover. Hence, we did NOT have air conditioning during this past heat wave... THANK GOD for cooler weather!!! Hopefully the baby birds will be out of the nest in the next few weeks, and we can have our a/c unit back for the next heat wave... :)
UPDATE - June 14
We hear peeping! The baby wren's are making some noise!! Yea! Their nest is almost hidden, so hopefully these little guys will have a chance to grow and fledge!
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