I’ll see if you can spot this owl. I never was able to find it other than on the photo. There are two of them there and the second one is even harder to find. Try to find the eye first and go from there. Oh, click on the photo for a slightly larger version.
Isn’t it amazing how well it camouflages with the tree?
In Iowa, this owl is considered a threatened species. They are a winter bird here and will often roost in small groups. Their diet is mostly small mammals, but will also prey on birds.
This owl was found during our first Christmas Bird Count. Compared to others our numbers were low, but I am not complaining, because it was an adventure for us. I hope next year, besides having better shoes, we will also have more knowledge of the birds so we can more readily find them.
The other night I was reading Kenn Kaufman’s book, Kingbird Highway. In it he mentioned a little of the history of the CBC. Apparently, on or near Christmas people would get into groups and try to hunt as many birds and critters as they can in a set amount of time. The team with the greatest number of animals wins. Well, a man came up with an alternative to that, count the birds instead of killing them. Here is a link with more info, if you are interested in the history. The list is included for that first count.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.