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The Owl and The Crow
Old 06-13-2017, 08:17 AM   #1
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The Owl and The Crow

I have a large wooded Parcel behind my house, full of wildlife of all kinds. I've always been interested in bird-watching, and I've taken a particular interest in the Barred Owl that lives back there.

Last night, I was watching the sunset with an after-dinner drink. You can hear the critters in the woods, especially Mr Owl with his distinct Hoo Hoo Hoo-Hoo (Who cooks for You). He's probably trying to scare up one last mouse for a night-time snack.

On this occasion his call was a little more urgent. With just enough daylight left, I saw a rustle in the tree line....and out bursts a pretty good-sized Crow, followed closely by the Barred Owl, who also has some size to him.

The Crow must have crossed into Mr Owl's domain....and Mr Owl didn't like it. The Chase was on. They both flew the length of my yard, only about 6 feet off the ground. The Crow was flapping his wings for all he was worth and CAW-CAW-CAW'ing at a fevered pitch. The Owl was right on his tail, never more than 3 feet behind him, and silent as snow-fall. Mr Owl mirrored the Crow's every feint, but where the Crow was throwing himself hastily through the air.....Mr Owl would simply lift a tail feather or drop a wing to one side to stay right on him. The Chase forced the Crow away from the Owl's turf, and I don't think it ended well for Crow.

It was one of the most impressive bits of flying that I've ever seen. The striking thing was how silent the Owl was cutting thru the dusk. If you were a little critter in the bush, you would never hear him come down and grab you.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
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that's awsome
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:51 AM   #3
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We have barred owls in our neighborhood as well. Absolutely silent in flight and armed to the teeth... well, to the beak at least. Ours are 3-4 times the size of any crow I've seen.

They would be very frightening to any smaller animal. A few years ago one of them hit a Cooper's hawk in our front yard, cleaving through one of hawk's wing spars (it would have been the equivalent of the humerus bone in a person). The owl did not eat the hawk , it was merely crushing the competition. My daughter and I gathered the hawk in a blanket and delivered it to a raptor handler who patched it back up, although it never could fly in the wild again.

I wish there were more of them on the j*b of squirrel removal. Those d*** tree rats chew up everything and leave piles of capers all over my deck. C'mon, owls, get to w*rk! Whaddya think, you're retired or something?
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:11 AM   #4
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Those dam squirrels must not be good eating. With all the hawks & owls around here.....I shouldn't see a single squirrel. Yet we're over-run with them !!
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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Very nice! Awesome experience. I've tracked owls in photo shoots - you're spot on - they are extremely quiet.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:25 AM   #6
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Somewhat of a birdwatcher here. Lately the crows have been chasing the hawks around, here. Strange, but the hawks just fly away from them. Territorial stuff, no doubt. Beautiful gray and red hawks. Maybe redtailed hawks, don't know. And no, I never see them eating those pesky rabbits and chipmunks that are all over the place. Oh wait, several years ago as I was exiting my house, a hawk dropped right into the rhododendron next to the front door and flew away with something, maybe a chipmunk! So yes, they are doing their job, apparently.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:41 AM   #7
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Around here the hawks and the crows make noise very early in the morning. They wake me up. They were arguing about something. I haven't seen any rats or mouse lately. They must be catching them. I did have a picture of a hawk in my back yard with a mouse in his claws when we were digging tunnel for the sprinklers.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
Somewhat of a birdwatcher here. Lately the crows have been chasing the hawks around, here. Strange, but the hawks just fly away from them. Territorial stuff, no doubt.
Yes, it's called "mobbing" and very common. Crows can't stand hawks and will always gang up on them. By surrounding the hawk and CAW-ing loudly, they annoy the hawk enough (and advertise its presence to potential prey) to make it move. They keep repeating this until the hawk leaves the area.

I like both hawks and crows, but I like hawks more.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:34 AM   #9
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Years ago I went crow hunting with some guys. The used both crow and owl decoys along with a crow recording. Crows hate owls.

Didn't do it again, turns out eating crow isn't much fun.

Owls, hawks etc. do a good job of controlling bunnies and squirrels. Least I've watched them eating them.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:45 AM   #10
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Or the famous tale of the Owl and Pussycat... caught on a critter cam.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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This morning I saw what I am pretty sure was a great horned owl over the lake. That is a large bird. I don't see it very often.

Twice while working on my house I have heard something really moving through the air and then a major commotion. I looked up and saw a hawk and crow with both looking like they were regaining flight. I assumed the hawk tried to nail the crow from very high above. Neither attempts were successful, but it sure was fun to watch.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:08 PM   #12
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If i took up "bird watching" from my balcony, i bet the cops would be knocking on my door. Im sure with my binoculars peering around, some one would think i was a perv.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:12 PM   #13
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At my small place we have Barred owls, Crows, Mississippi Kites, and Cooper's Hawks must commonly. Red-tailed Hawks and Great Horned owls and even the occasional Bald Eagle can be found in the area too.

They are all mortal enemies. I have seen the high drama between the barred owls and a murder of crows most often. And crows have killed grown barred owls on my property as recently as early this Spring.

This guy showed up in our front yard one Summer a few years back during a period of drought. He hung around for about 2 weeks and had a kind of uneasy peace with the other critters at the bird feeder and the water feature. It lasted until the crows found him. They ran him off and we didn't see it again. He never did go after the squirrels who were murdering my wife's bird feeders right in front of him.



He didn't give a hoot (/snicker) about the squirrels or birds. He hung around for this:

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Old 06-13-2017, 01:16 PM   #14
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Oh, and here is an image of a Great Horned Owl that I took from my deer stand about 20 miles West of my house several years ago.


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Old 06-13-2017, 01:27 PM   #15
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Gorgeous birds, gorgeous photos, Ed B.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:50 PM   #16
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Nice photos.
Owls are extremely interesting the few times I've seen them. Great grandfather used to encourage them to live in his barn. A great uncle once startled one and got tore up pretty good.
Silent death from above.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #17
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Nice photos.
Owls are extremely interesting the few times I've seen them. Great grandfather used to encourage them to live in his barn. A great uncle once startled one and got tore up pretty good.
Silent death from above.
I believe it. I have heard bad stories about people using predator calls at night to thin out coyote, bobcat and fox only to have a big owl swoop down on the head of the person using a mouth call.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:42 PM   #18
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My wife had been interested in Falconry, and on a trip to the UK I found a place on the Isle of Wight that let you fly the birds.
Below are pictures of a barn owl and an eagle owl.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:46 PM   #19
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My wife had been interested in Falconry, and on a trip to the UK I found a place on the Isle of Wight that let you fly the birds.
Below are pictures of a barn owl and an eagle owl.
Awesome birds.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:55 PM   #20
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An early memory (I might have been 4) I was visiting my uncle on the farm. I started to walk into the open barn and an owl flew out at me. I don't know if it was a "barn" owl but my impression was that the wingspan was 5 feet - too big for a barn owl. At least in my memory, the owl was pure white and looked the size of an airplane! Very frightening!
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