The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.

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Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Red Phase....

Was down at the barn on Saturday and happened to see on the floor a big pile of bird poo...a big bird it looked like. Also saw some feathers on the floor too. I have seen this before, without the feathers and have looked but never saw the poo producer! Well.....today I was in luck, I looked up and saw this puffed up pile of feathers overhead. (by the way, that's an old hay rail in the top of the barn)

These first two shots were all I could get of him or her because the light was low and it was very overcast outside. I sent the pictures to a friend, Julie, who knows birds and she said it was a Red Phase Screech Owl. How cool!!!
These last two pictures were taken today with the Canon Rebel and the 70-300 lens and I climbed up in the hay loft of the barn. (do click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can see the owl better) I love having this little critter in the barn, haven't seen a mouse in a long, long time! There have been several times that I didn't get the slide top on the feed bin closed and when I saw it the next day I thought sure there would be mice in it. But no, not a mouse in sight!

Here is Hootie looking very sleepy...."Why are you bothering me, woman? Can't you see I'm sleeping?" Love the little "horns" on his head, feathers.
Hootie was gone for a couple of days, the weather had warmed a bit. He might have gone down to Kim's barn; she has a nest of bunnies that are digging holes all over the place and mice too. I hate to see animals get killed but that's the nature of things and just life and the owl has to eat too.
Julie tells me that birds are very sensitive to weather changes and there is a cold snap coming so Hootie is conserving energy and resting in the barn where he is protected. Red Phase owls also have a high body temp so they get cold faster than the Grey Phase owls, interesting!
I just hope that Hootie decides that our barn is a nice place to live and stays with us, such a beautiful little owl! Would love it if he would fly down and get closer so I could see him better.

21 comments:

dexmangoldens said...

How Cool!!! And you named him Hootie! What a hoot! :)
Glad he/she is taking care of the mice. I hate mice!

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

I love this post, Jane!! He is quite an imposing figure, isn't he? I hope he likes it there, too ~ that's kind of a fun thing to have move in!!!

Kate said...

He's really beautiful - how wonderful to have such a visitor - and he'll eat any mice that are around!

jane augenstein said...

Julie, yes, it's Hootie and original name? I don't like mice either, ugh!

Alice, thanks Alice, he is just too cute, if owls can be cute; hope he stays for a long, long time!

Kate, he is a better mouser than the cat! I would love to see him in flight and capture it on camera.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Jane - I am so jealous that you captured him in pictures!!! We have an owl that likes our hay loft but I'm usually only in the loft once a day and it is after the sun has set, just not enough light to get a picture of him from a distance. He is so handsome though! I love to listen to the owls talk at night, we have several around here that talk a lot in the evenings.

gtyyup said...

Hootie's a cute lil' visitor! He has very interesting colors. Hope he stays around for you.

Thistlebrooms said...

How wonderful of 'Hootie' to become your winter resident!!! AND to take care of the mice around the grain to boot.
I only hear them in our woods but your Lucky to actually have one pick your Barn...
Enjoy your new friend...
~Marilyn

Fantastyk Voyager said...

How exciting! You got some great photos although I had trouble figuring out the first photo.

I've often wondered why I don't have a barn owl in my barn. I have lots of swallows in the summertime.

Jacque. said...

So, Jane...how big is Hootie? He's pretty awesome! I actually heard an owl hoot tonight when I was out with the tag man. Thought of you.

Dusty Devoe said...

Hootie is a handsome guy! It is funny how you get attached to critters that show up. Hope he stays for awhile!

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

How wonderfully cool!! Don't you just love having a telephoto lens! I can't do without mine.

Leah Fry said...

Well, he might like the barn better if you don't take flash photos :-)

Tracey said...

Cool! I had a friend who used to have a pair of barn owls (wonder what they were called before barn owls?) that nested in her hay loft. Be on the lookout for those owl pellets...we used to find cool mousie bones in hers!

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Very cool, have always loved owls. I know there are some out here, but I seldom see them anymore. I hope he stays !

jane augenstein said...

Melissa, I wish I could get some better close ups of him. But don't think I want to climb out on a board over the open end of the barn to get closer! LOL

gtyyup, he is a beautiful little guy; I too hope he stays for a long time.

Marilyn, I hope Hootie stays year round and keeps the mice gone and anything else that he wants!

Val, I wondered if anyone could figure out what was in the picture. From down on the barn floor he did look funny.

Jacque, how cool that you heard an owl. I have heard screech owls here and didn't know what it was they have a very eerie whinnying type of call.

Dusty Devoe, I am very fond of little Hootie, he can live here as long as he wants!

Gail, yes the telephoto is great! Just wish I could get even closer.

Leah, he didn't care about the flash. I thought it might startle him but he never moved just kept the same look on his face.

Tracey, yes, I will have to look at those pellets, there are several. Will check for mousie bones! LOL

BlackFeatherFarm, Hootie is the first one that I know of who has been in our barn. I also think he visits my neighbors barn too.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, I guessed it was an owl. Those last shots are pretty cool.

Pony Girl said...

Wow, really beautiful! I couldn't tell in the first photo what it was going to be. You are lucky to have had this guy and to capture him with your camera! I hope you had a great weekend Jane!

Oz Girl said...

Wow, that is so cool! He's a very beautiful owl, that's for sure. And you're right. They're great to have around to keep the mice/rat population down! ;)

Desert Rose said...

You lucky cowgirl!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hootie is beautiful! And cute, too. Very useful to have around.
Great photos. I hope he stays, too.


~Lisa

jane augenstein said...

Pony Girl, yes, little Hootie is very pretty and he is doing his job too! He isn't here all the time, don't know where he goes but I hope he keeps coming back. I tell him all the time he is most welcome and appreciated here!

Oz Girl, I haven't seen mice in ever so long, Hootie is great!

Desert Rose, yes, I am! LOL

Lisa, thanks, he is a useful guy to have around, haven't even seen the rabbit that was under the barn so maybe he got it too.

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