Owls have been extremely elusive in my personal pursuit of wildlife. Although I habitually scan the treescape, I’ve rarely seen them and never even heard a hoo-hoo! As a kid I tried to teach myself how to draw one; this was way before Harry Potter’s Hedwig. With their big eyes and 270 degree rotating heads, owls have propelled themselves to near mythical proportions in my mind. If I exclude trips to the zoo and the stuffed variety, such as those pictured here from the American Museum of Natural History, I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing an owl twice. Both of my owl encounters were outside of my home state of New Jersey.
My first encounter with an owl was in Florida at a retirement village where we were visiting family. It was the stereotypical scenario with the owl high up in the hollow part of a huge tree. It was just sitting and staring at life going by. It was probably a Great Horned Owl, but I was too excited to make a mental checklist of its features. My second glimpse of an owl in the wild occurred in Pennsylvania. As we drove the car away from the Worlds End State Park vicinity, voila, there it sat perched on a branch that stretched out toward the road. It was practically at eye level — hence the chorus of, “Did you see that?” Sadly, that ends my owl spotting experience. Hopefully, as my quest continues a status update will be in order. How about you? Click Comment to tell us about your owl experiences.