The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.Seattle. June 15, 2012.
I hunt for the baby owls every day now. My strategy is to follow the crows and the jays and the little birds as they scold, creeping along the trails with Bill-the-Dog held close, peering upwards towards the sounds. Some days I see both clutches, two in each. Some days I just hear them. Some days I come up empty.
Early last week there was no scolding as we came out from a side trail to the old service road that runs along the spine of the Forest. I checked both ways as I usually do, looking for other walkers and loose dogs. No walkers that day and no dogs, only a silent crow and two odd forms on the road to the south. Bunnies? No, Bill-the-Dog would alert me to bunnies - his favorite. Feral cats? No. He'd alert me to those, too, and I've never seen two in one place in the forest before.
We move closer, very slowly. Crow flies off to the west at our approach. One of the forms follows. Binoc time. One baby owl is standing in the road, intently watching the ground. Its companion hisses from the nearby brush, but the watcher pays no mind, just watches. Watches some more, barely moving, then coils itself up and rises to pounce. Leans down with flapping wings and grapples its prey, fiercely. I stifle a giggle - the prey is a leaf. Baby Owl tosses the leaf. Pounces again. Stands in a puzzled way, looking for its missing meal.
Crow has left the scene. It might be his voice I hear to the north, yelling along with his friends. The second baby owl continues to hiss from the underbrush. This baby leaves its fruitless search and joins its sibling.
They hiss and bob their heads at us as Bill-the-Dog and I pass by.
June 11, 2011. One young Barred Owl from the southern nest in the Forest is playing hunter.
So where are you and what's going on in your neighborhood? Don't be shy, all are welcome to report. I'll be in and out most of the day, then away around dinner time PDT.