Owls returning...


Owl encounters are not uncommon in these parts.  If the surrounds are suitable, the eats plentiful, chances are good for visitations.   Several species have habitat here and while most visits are welcome, the occasional traveller can be a bit alarming...

The first autumn in this house surrounded by woods, a juvenile barn owl must have decided to explore the chimney opening a bit too closely and fell right down the shaft.  Alone here at the time, I had no idea what was causing all the racket -- all I knew was that unnerving sounds of shuffling and scratching were coming from inside the chimney and something ALIVE was trapped.  The damper was closed so no chance of said creature escaping into the house, but how in the world was I going to get this poor trapped thing, out?

Good friend Sam, well versed in all things animal and raptor-like, responded in his utterly  chivalrous and true Sam style (as he has since done several times over the years) and arrived armed with everything one might need for a rescue.  The plan was to temporarily "blind" whatever it was with that bright shop light you see glowing within the fireplace.  Then s-l-o-w-l-y, push the damper up in the hope of releasing the misfortunate one...whatever IT was.  Much to our surprise and amazement, this youngster plopped out.  By all appearances unscathed, he was nevertheless very peeved.  Barn owls can throw quite the hissy fit, literally.  Here he is protesting at the top of his lungs.  Please pardon the blurry photos -- it was quite the moment!

My young visitor was soon released into the night, gliding away on little grateful wings, I'm sure.  A successful outcome and a good memory.

This lucky Great horned (see the garter snake he's gobbling?) was one of last years welcome visitors, having decided to devour its meal *outside* on the front gate arbor rather than, shall we say, showing up at the dinner table or somewhere else meant more for humans.  

The past few nights I've heard them...owls in the woods again, hooting it up .  Although it's the last day of August, my most favorite heralds of autumn have certainly returned.  I checked the damper -- it's closed.  :>]]

Painting by Valentine Cameron Prinsep,  first exhibited 1863
~ Il Barbagianni (The Owl) ~


  1. hi Christi, how lovely to have owls about. When we lived on 100 acres of forest over at Rylstone, about an hour and a half from here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgL7SCE9Lbs
    we had a lot of owls in the bush, i loved hearing them at night. The video isn't mine but i found it for you if you're interested, it's beautiful country, just turn the sound down. cheers, kaite

  2. So glad that you got him out. He is such a beautiful bird. What a lovely story. Thanks Christi.


  3. sorry Christi, i got so carried away by memories i forgot about your owls. I too am very pleased you were able to rescue the owl, and i love the photo of the Great Horned, they are beautiful. I'm wondering - do you need some sort of grate or cap over the chimney top? hooroo, kaite

  4. The were calling outside my window just last night. The most magical sound on the planet!

  5. What an amazing story...I love that it had a happy ending.
    Owls are coming into my life from all over...I am going with the flow.
    Your blog is great...I look forward to more visits.

  6. What an amazing story...I love that it had a happy ending.
    Owls are coming into my life from all over...I am going with the flow.
    Your blog is great...I look forward to more visits.

  7. Funny photo of barn owl in a hissy fit, even blurry one can see the outrage of a captured owl! Mostly in the forest here are the friendly and not-too-large barred owls. They've adopted my yard as a prime hunting spot, sometimes its hard to sleep with the screaming owls! Such magical creatures.

  8. What an action packed evening you must have had--very exciting, and thank you for sharing the tale! Poor owl, I'm glad Sam was there to come to rescue you both! I would have been delighted if a barn owl plopped into our fireplace! Quite a cute one too. Those photos are priceless. I'm quite envious that you dwell so closely with nature. We've only ever had bats invade our house a couple of times (squeezed in an opening in our apartment a long time ago). It was quite a sight to see cat and hubby (neekid), chasing a couple of fighting bats with a pillow case :-).

  9. How exciting! Wonderful photos of
    the young owl!

  10. Oh, I loved this story. I wish we had more owls (or at least that they would present themselves if they are about) in our area. I love them -- and would welcome their presence. I would even promise to be very, very quiet.

  11. The owls return - or are they really the Guardians of Ga'Hoole?



  12. I'm so glad this story had a happy ending. This little chap had quite an adventure! And lucky you, to have owls so close. We have bats occasionally, but here in the city we have no owls.

  13. Hi Christi - I have been happily following links from the sidebar of Jude's cloth to cloth class. This is a wonderful blog and I shall enjoy taking my time to explore in more depth. You replied to a comment I left at Jude's about our animal companions greeting the outside world with great care and wisdom each day. I love thinking of us following their lead and learning from them just as they learn from us ...

  14. Thank you so much for taking a few moments to leave comments, my friends...always so good hearing from you. If you get the chance, do click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKBkL-Myh5w&feature=player_embedded
    Morwyn left the link to this AMAZING animated trailer, a must see for owl lovers!

    Kaite ~ my, my, my, what a part of the world you are in, thanks for that link...but now I want to visit even more!

    T ~ so glad you popped over & enjoyed.

    Pamela ~ Magical sound indeed. I sometimes stay awake far too long just so I can listen to them.

    moaromigboyles ~ Thanks for visiting here! See you again :>]]

    Valerianna ~ ooooh, you are lucky to have the barreds in your yard. Haven't seen those here but have seen Screech owls. Incredibly special visitors, all.

    Grace ~ a most excellent description..."action packed evening", oh it was, IT WAS! Some day I must tell you our famous bat story from a journey to Ireland...
    Giggling at the thought of your *neekid* one fighting them off :>D

    Patty ~ thanks so much. My hands were shaking like crazy!

    Penny ~ perhaps you could try standing outside & hooting for them? I admit it, I have done this :>/

    Morwyn ~ thanks heaps for the link to that AMAZING trailer...must see that film!

    Karen ~ Yes, I do feel very, very fortunate to have them so close. And we have one species of bat in our little corner of the world...they roost up under the shingles of the 2nd floor of our house, marvelous creatures for bug catching every evening.

    ACey ~ Welcome! glad to have you wander through. We are going to have a grand time in Cloth to Cloth, me thinks. So nice to know you are a fellow animal lover...perhaps we'll be telling some more stories about them :>]]

  15. How utterly wonderful to be visited by an owl! I have had possums in the house doing a lot of damage trying to get out and parrots nesting in a chimney bricked up from below, as well as the thrill of a peregrine falcon in the sunroom but never an OWL.
    Owls are so very special, I have no idea why, they just are.

  16. Could you please tell me who the beautiful painting of the young women and owl is by?