[Ontbirds]Barred owl, nesting

John Keenleyside johnkeenleyside at iprimus.ca
Tue Jun 15 21:14:05 EDT 2004

A year ago, I reported the nesting of a pair of Barred owls at my
property at the southern end of Lake Rosseau in Muskoka.

Last weekend, the owls again fledged two young birds, having nested in a
natural cavity in the same two hundred, (or so), year old maple tree.

Not long prior to this, while I was standing looking out at the lake,
and admiring the view, the male owl suddenly appeared out of nowhere,
(actually out of a nearby young white pine), and pounced onto the long
vegetation, obviously aiming at a prey target, which in fact he missed.
He then alternately glanced at his feet (presumeably  unwilling to admit
that he missed), and then glancing at me, on the assumption that I was
to blame. He tried again. Another miss. Another baleful look. This
action, wonderful to watch (at least for me), took place, at the most,
no more than 25 feet or so from where I was standing.

Obviously there is nothing unusual about Barred owls in
Muskoka/Haliburton. They are common. To me however, the fact that these
birds nest in the middle of my parking area, irrespective of the traffic
in and out of my door, (50 feet from the nest tree, and 25 feet from
where I park my car), and also equally oblivious to the presence of
children playing catch and other games, (not to mention the  presence of
a rather large German Shepherd, usually patrolling the area at a full
gallop), is wonderful to watch. Equally pleasant, is listening to them
call, and Barred owls calling in the middle of the day is of course well

This is the 8th consecutive year for this particular pair of Barred owls
to nest in the same tree. TheThe Birds of North America (No. 508),
refers to a natural cavity being used by Barred owls for 10 consecutive
years "until the cavity rotted out".

Stay tuned.

John Keenleyside,

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