This week’s photo, taken June 26, 2012 at Magnuson Park in NE Seattle, WA, features a LONG-EARED OWL in flight.
Ok, I confess. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve got owls on the brain, so I am frequently searching for those mysterious, nocturnal creatures. Washington state boasts 15 owl species, so my chances of finding an owl seem to be as good here as in any other state. So far, I have checked off six varieties in the Evergreen State: Great Horned, Barn, Barred, Short-eared, Long-eared and Snowy.
Perhaps you have heard that we are more likely to hear owls than to see them. Whether or not that’s true, whenever I’m outside, day or night, I am scanning the trees, hoping to spot a solid mass sitting motionless on a branch. Without a doubt, owls can be difficult to find, but I believe a challenging life is a far richer life, so I keep looking.
Besides, I can’t help myself. I’m so impressed by the hugeness of the towering trees here in the Northwest, I never tire of staring at their shear size and intricate structure. Down south in San Diego and northern Mexico where I used to live, trees tend to be less plentiful and not as big. I think that I am taller than many of the trees in San Diego.
An owl species I really want to experience is the tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl. Although this 8-inch long cutie is not found in the San Diego area, it is considered fairly common in Washington state. Since owls see us more often than we see them, even though I have never seen a Northern Saw-whet Owl, a Saw-whet has probably seen me.