• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

BirdNote ® Barred Owl

Air Date: Week of

A Barred Owl in flight. (Photo: © Tom Grey)

As the frigid long nights of January grip much of the country, Mary MacCann has an unexpected encounter with a Barred Owl.


CURWOOD: January 27th sees the first full moon of 2013, called the Wolf Moon by Native Americans. But in our BirdNote ® today, Mary McCann has a tale of an encounter with a different creature of the night.


A Barred Owl. (Photo: © Gregg Thompson)

MCGANN: Winter grips the land and dawn comes late. Our house sits at the edge of a field of grasses that are limp and broken, tunneled through by voles. I awake as two Barred Owls fly in tandem, low, by my windows, swift dark shapes against the grey and brooding light. How close they are – banking at the corner of the house.

Then, a loud and mighty smack! I find one owl lying on the floor of the porch, upside down beneath a window, a heap of feathers, one wing protruding, barely breathing. Shall I cover the bird with a blanket, put it in a box and keep it warm? Has it broken a wing, cracked its beak? Or shall I keep my distance, so as not to frighten it further? I decide to hold still and watch.

A Barred Owl perched in a tree. (Photo: © Tom Grey)

Minutes pass. Then the owl rights itself and moves its head. Our eyes lock. Dazed, it sits quietly, turning its head from time to time. More minutes pass. I leave to get my binoculars to study it more closely. When I return, it is gone. It has flown away.

Tonight, temperatures will plunge and a winter moon will illuminate the new snow. I’m Mary McCann.

CURWOOD: To see some photos of the barred owl, swoop on down to our website at LOE.org.

[Written By Chris Peterson
Musical selection from “When Comes December” composed and played by Tim Story, on A Winter’s Solstice, Windham Hill Records.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org January 2013 Narrator: Mary McCann]



BirdNote ® Barred Owl


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth