Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Little Screech Owl

From the Country...

Last night as I was heading into the barn to close down the chickens and turkeys I saw a magnificent sight. At first I assumed it was a barn pigeon lost in the bottom floor of the barn but by they way it silently soared through the barn, I took a second look. After finishing up with the chores, I ventured toward the southeast corner of the barn. As I slowly approached I could vaguely make the silhouette of the masked intruder. What I could see was two perky ears and two large eyes watching my every move. It was a little Screech Owl.

We have been hearing him screech through the night in search of a mate but I never anticipated that I would meet him one day face to face. He didn’t like the look of me as I crept closer and as I stepped too close he took of again, this time not as graceful. He took off first slamming into the rabbit wire of the chicken coop and then back and forth looking for some place to hide. He was frantic. I was literally stressing out this little winged wonder.

My amazement slightly turned to fear as I lowered myself to the ground and put my barn coat hood up as the owl soared back and forth above. Not knowing what he would do next I slowly walked toward the door, turned off the light, and latched the barn door shut behind me.

I wanted to go back in and watch him, get closer and wonder at his eyes and his tiny frame. But I knew he wouldn’t let me and that he would just continue his destructive behaviour and so I went back to the house. From my experience with livestock, when an animal gets that frantic, you have to leave and come back later. When dealing with animals it is mandatory to have a calm disposition.

I get excited when I come across a wild animal, something I come across once in a blue moon. Like the winter we had two Grey Owls perch on top of the barn or the summer I found a tree frog sitting Buddha like on a milkweed pod. I felt as though I had found treasure.

As I went back into the house I told the boys, who of course wanted to go and see. Beans and I dreamed up an idea that our little owl would stay with us and clean up all the rodents in the barn, something that has been plaguing our barn for years. Our feedbags would once again be safe.

I wonder whether our little feathered friend will be there tonight.

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