Nature Notes

Vol. VIII October, 1930 No. 11

About Owls Owl

The other Owl story in this issue gives an inkling of some of the foolish activities these proverbially "wise" birds indugle in during the working hours of the night. But where do they keep themselves during the day?

That question was answered by the writer on a circum-montain trip this fall. Dropping down the densely-timbered slope from Sunset Park my advance was suddenly halted by a feathered apparition squatting stolidly on a dead hemlock limb not ten feet from the trail.

Blending with the drab, mossy depths of the forest, she sat there and blinked and stared with eyes as big and black as twin barrels of a shotgun. Her feathers were ruffled and unkempt as if she had slept in some farmer's barn all night. Perhaps she had. Her great beetling black eyebrows gave her a decidedly masculine appearance as she slouched on her dingy perch and looked me up and down with comical disdain. Only her great size indicated her sex. Two rigid tufts of hair like the budding horns of a young devil identified her as a Horned Owl.

I wanted to shake hands with her, but she didn't care much about making my acquaintance and as I crossed a point five feet from her she sprang gently into the air and with one casual flap of her great wings she lofted through the woods some twenty foet in utter silence to alight on another limb and drowse in seclusion probably throughout the rest of the daylight hours.

A fringe of soft feathers on the edge of the wings accounts for this ability of Owls to swoop through the air in utter silence. Thus there is very little, if any, warning for their destined prey.

L. G. Richards, Park Ranger.


As many as a dozen bands of these rare birds were seen near Mowich Lake and Tolmie Peak in the northwest section of the Park this month. They were traveling in bands of 20 to 25 and seemed to be feeding on the abundant huckleberries in the region. When a band of this size rises suddenly into the air the noise of their whistling flight is as great as that of a flock of ducks.

L. G. Richards, Park Ranger.

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