~Birding in Florida, Barred Owl, #388

~Ross Prairie Campground, January 15, 2018

OoO-The Beauty of Nature…

The path leading into the live oak forest is hard packed sand and covered with years of fallen leaves, making its color rusty brown. It is early evening and the light filtering through the heavily treed canopy creates long shadows. Some of the trees are huge with thick trunks and long branches giving away their age.

Ross Prairie Trail

Some of the branches are so heavy they grow toward the ground. The branches are covered with moisture loving green moss and ferns, perfect compliments to these old giants.

Ferns in the arms of a beautiful Live Oak Tree
Ferns growing at the base of a tree.

We are walking along the trail, enjoying the quite, Howard in the lead with Skye and I bringing up the rear. All of a sudden Howard stops in front of me and I run right into him. He softly tells me, “I saw an owl fly and it landed on a branch just ahead.” We stand still for a few seconds not wanting to scare the owl and then began slowly walking toward the tree. Howard says, “Hand me Skye so you can get closer, I will stay back.”

I walk quietly and slowly not wanting it to fly. My heart is pounding, because it looks like a Barred Owl, which I have never seen in the wild. Oh my gosh, it is a Barred Owl. I am so excited.

I don’t have my camera, but I take a photo with my phone. It isn’t a good photo, because the owl is so high up in the tree and the lighting is not the best.

IMG_1777 2
Barred Owl

It doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is standing there in the forest, watching the owl. It stays perched looking around and looking down at me. This encounter was unexpected and amazing.

A tree passed its prime.

~The Barred Owl is number 388 on my Birding Life List~


11 thoughts on “~Birding in Florida, Barred Owl, #388”

  1. I hope during the remainder of your long stay at Ross Prairie you will have another Barred Owl encounter with your camera! But, as you said, you have added this Owl on your list and you saw him in it’s natural habitate, which is awesome! k

    1. Hey Karla! That would be great, been looking as we walk thru the forest, but haven’t seen it again. However, we could be walking right under it and wouldn’t know it. Hope you are doing ok.

  2. What a great story & to see something that you haven’t ever seen is a little miracle, especially that it was in the wild, it’s natural habitat. Thanks for sharing your lovely stories with us.

    Hope y’all having fun! We’re getting ready to have some Colorado weather here tonight!


    1. Hi Lou! I just spoke with my brother and he told us it was 11 degrees in Purvis last night with snow on the ground and icy roads. I hope the weather there in Metairie won’t be too bad! Hope things are going well for you guys. Thank you fo your kind words; it means a lot to me!

  3. Sheila I can identify with your excitement… 100% … a few weeks ago I was standing on our front porch to try and figure out why the Scrub Jays were going berserk. They were mobbing a Barred Owl who had come to roost in the willow row at the edge of our wetland. As I ran inside to get my camera, the jays left, and the Barred Owl became a sleepy subject. I managed to take what turned out to be a couple hundred photos…. sounds crazy now, but I had no idea how long it would stay… or if I’d ever have an opportunity like that again!!! I”m happy you had your encounter- cheers! 🦉

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