Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Postcards from Vermont: Owls

In honor of Halloween — and my hankering to reread some of the Harry Potter series yet again — a few owls from the Raptor Center of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. There are more than 40 owls, eagles, falcons, ravens, hawks, and other birds on view. All of them have been disabled from injuries (the Raptor Center treats hundreds of wounded birds annually) or are otherwise unfit to survive in the wild, so they live outdoors in individual, side-by-side enclosures that mimic their natural habitats... sort of like condos, raptor-style. For example, the Barn Owl, has "barn rafters" for perching up high.

I've always wanted to spot an owl in the woods. I've spent too many hours staring hopefully into branches, occasionally getting excited over what turns out to be a hawk. Even if they're around, owls are difficult to spot because of their camouflage coloring and nocturnal habits, of course. During daylight, they don't move much. None of the owls that we saw last week left their perch during our visit.

 This is probably the only Great Horned Owl I'll ever see:


This Great Gray Owl looks like a friendly character. I can imagine him delivering letters and newspapers to the dining hall at Hogwarts.


Snowy Owls, like Harry's Hedwig, are my favorite. We were happy to see one at the Center. This bird did us the honor of turning its head and blinking at us. 


1 comment:

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

I think I love looking at owl pictures almost as much as cat photos! Lovely post!