Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Wise Owl in the Park Revisited

Yes, I got the names mixed up.  It is a husky barred owl, not a barn owl, that comes and visits the Back Forty Park.  I don't know how wise he is:  he may be lazy and opportunistic.  For a fleeting moment, I thought he might be a "snow bird" leaving for a cooler climate to spend his summer.

There seems to be a lot of interest in the barred owl.  Not only is he a fairly common visitor to the Back Forty and the neighboring beach communities but all along the East Coast.  The barred owl is a welcome guest to my back yard.  He keeps the rodent population at bay; he dispatches an occasional snake, and he also gives the moles a good chase.

Last Sunday, in the local paper, I read about a couple in a nearby beach community who fed two owls and had them trained to go to different places for food that was given to them.  These two owls even had names.  I was horrified to read about this intervention.  Owls are part of the wild life and in my opinion these acts are neither cute nor adorable.

It may be the same owls that come and visit my back yard and when they are not allowed to do their jobs--hunting, we are upsetting a balance to the ecosystem.  No wonder they seemed to be familiar with human beings showing no fear and taking no flight.  By feeding these birds, they will become dependent on us to provide them with food on a regular basis.

The owls are wild and the kindest thing we can do is to let them be wild.  In our yards, we will provide water and a safe place to rest and hunt and to raise their young.  We do not need to actively participate but be a casual observer.

Thank you for visiting my humble blog.
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