A Multitude of Owls
by Stev, Nathalie F, Leslie P, Lisa C, Bev, Jack L, Lisa, Frances R, John Hall, Wendy
(New Hamburg, Barrie, Kitchener, London, Woodstock, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Alliston, Oakville, Amherstburg, Mississauga )
Owls of Ontario
Stev recently wrote to say ... I live in New Hamburg, Ontario, literally on the edge of town and while returning home on a very cold night in January around midnight from an evening out with my wife, we were startled by a large bird flying very erratically about 40 feet in front of our car on our dead end residential street. We followed it all the way down our street as it continued to fly very erratically and it made a hard right turn right up my drive way and the then all of a sudden it gracefully landed on my front porch. I pulled into my drive way very slowly and parked my car about 15 feet from the Owl and my wife and I were amazed at the beauty and size of this bird as we sat in the car watching it watch us for about 5 minutes. Then all of a sudden it just took off fly ever so gracefully. After a Google search it was clear that it was a Great Horned Owl. I still wonder why it was flying so erratically. I thought it may be injured until it took off so gracefully.
Nathalie Fournier wrote to tell us about her night-time friends ... We live in Barrie and only recently moved here a year and a half ago. We bought a home with a heavily forested area out back. I'm not a good sleeper, but have, on several occasions, had the pleasure of waking up in the middle of the night to a pair of Owls hooting to each other out back. Yesterday, the developer who owns the land finally went to task on cutting down the wonderful forest out back. It brought tears to my eyes to see one lone machine cutting down all the trees, and doing it so rapidly. This morning, I awoke early again and immediately saw the effects of the lost trees, even through the moonlight. I'm sad to say there is only one Owl calling this morning. My guess is that it's a Great Horned Owl, based on the call. I have a video file of the Owl calling, if ever you were interested in hearing it. I'm truly saddened by the devastation I witnessed yesterday and my children cried with me. How careless that the city of Barrie would have sold off this once "protected" land to developers, knowing how scarce true green space is within the city.
One of our readers wrote to say ... This morning, January 17th, 2016, I heard a murder of about 30 crows making a huge loud ruckus. I looked out my back window and saw the crows harassing and trying to chase away a Great Horned Owl. I live near the intersection of Victoria and Belmont Streets in Kitchener, Ontario, which is right near downtown Kitchener. I don't know if this is unusual, but I am 29 and I have never seen an Owl in the city before? The crows were eventually successful in chasing him off. I wish he would have stayed, despite me adopting a neutered feral cat, my backyard is still overrun with mice.
Leslie Pidlubny wrote to tell us about her February 2016 encounter with an Owl ... I heard the familiar soft gutteral 'trill' of an Eastern Screech Owl around dusk in the NW part of the city of London, Ontario. I investigated and he, (or she, its hard to tell due to dim lighting), sat perched on a bow of a Scotch Pine only a few metres above my head. He looked curiously down at me for several minutes, likely en'rapture'd by the hot fresh-from-the-oven roast turkey I was carrying ;) I did offer up a tidbit but he took flight to another tree close by where he continued to add his music to the cool night air.
Lisa Castillo from London, Ontario, wrote ... I have never seen an Owl in the wild before, so I am so excited that I was woken up at 4:18 am to a very loud "hooting"! Sitting on my neighbour's roof was a huge Great Horned Owl. In the distance I could hear another responding. It was very cool :)-
Bev from Woodstock told us ... There's an Owl outside of my window right now. Lately I've been staying up late and every night at 3 am it starts to hoot for about a half hour. I haven't stayed awake much later, but it seems to have found a home in the tree outside my window.
Jack Looye, the owner of Rhodoland Nurseries said ... Last Summer I made a few larger nest boxes hoping to attract Owls as we sometimes hear hooting when laying in bed before going to sleep. This Last week we spotted an Owl with so called "Ears" in one of the boxes looking out the entrance. Our boxes are approximately 12" sq and 18" high. So, we are happy about it as we have lots of mice damage on the Nursery. Regards, Jack Looye, Line 6 Rd. Niagara on the Lake, Ontario.
Lisa from Alliston, Ontario, told us about her Snowy Owl sighting ... I saw a pure white Snowy Owl flying across Industrial Parkway near the Honda Plant. What a beautiful creature!
Frances Rustom from Oakville, Ontario, wrote to tell us ... We have had "Maisie", as we call her, living in a tree since May of this year. He/she hangs around for a couple of days and then disappears for a couple of days. My neighbour always puts out bird feeders in winter, but because of Maisie, the birds are staying away.
At Christmas, 2015, John Hall from Amherstburg, Ontario, wrote to report ... I heard one of these little guys last night at dusk, then spotted him in the hole of a large maple tree.
Wendy wrote to tell us ... we were driving along the south Sheridan Service Road in Mississauga when we saw this owl in a roadside tree. It was a sunny day and it let me take his picture before flying away. Beautiful.