TEXAS APRIL 2012 Part 4

My visit to Hill Country was punctuated by two memorable experiences with owls. The first was with a BARRED OWL. This owl is at the western edge of its range here in Texas. It likes the mature deciduous groves along the river valleys in Hill Country. I have three or four sites that I check for this bird. During the day I stopped at one and hooted the who cooks for you call. Not long after the owl came flying right in!

Barred Owl in flight

Once the owl had found a perch I stopped hooting. After about twenty seconds it began to hoot loudly at close range. I didn't respond (the right thing to do!). The owl continued to call away in mid day. Surely this is one of the greatest vocalizations in the world of birds.

Barred Owl looking for me!

On an early morning visit to Lost Maples State Natural Area I was surprised to hear an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL. A little bit of walking back and forth and I was able to triangulate its location. After a bit of scanning there it was sitting right in the open!

Not surprisingly I wasn't the only one who heard the owl. Soon there was a flurry of activity as at least ten small passerines started scolding and mobbing the owl. One of the angry mobbers was a male GOLDEN-CHEEKED WARBLER. This allowed me to get some fantastic images of this beautiful songbird.

Golden-cheeked Warbler male

Golden-cheeked Warbler male

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