Perils of Daylight Hunting

When you see a barred owl hunting in daylight, you can bet that it is in serious need of a meal. They will not expose themselves to the harassment that drove Ward into the nest box today if they are able to meet their needs at night. Because owls depend on their hearing as much as their vision to locate their prey, the high winds and snow we are now experiencing make life especially difficult for Ward.  The new OwlCam camera caught him today as he sat in the nest box with bright sunlight streaming through the door onto his face. I had been hearing the crows and smaller birds fussing for several hours before they drove him into the nest. 

After listening to the angry birds swarm around the nest for about ten minutes, Ward climbed up the new owlet ladder (seen on his right in the upper picture) and leaped down to the owl rail. He then snapped at the few remaining birds for a couple of minutes before flying away to resume his hunting. After his experience on the 17th, I suspect that he will eat his next catch before it has a chance to freeze. The wooden appendage that can be seen on the far side of the nest box is the new equipment room for the second OwlCam camera.

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