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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Who Cooks For You??

I'm not actually interested in finding out who makes dinner at your house, but merely mimicking the call of an owl that is becoming more of a fixture throughout southern Chester County.  The Barred Owl is an owl whose call goes something like: Who Cooks for You? Who Cooks for You All? They are nocturnal owls that nest in cavities of evergreen and deciduous trees.  They can most often be found near water.  They like to hunt for rodents at night, and are typically drawn to hunting rodents on minimally traveled roadways along creeks. 

The first time I ever saw or heard a Barred Owl was on a Breeding Bird survey nine years ago.  We were stopped along a road that was "closed" and followed a portion of the Brandywine.  This vocal owl called back to the recording, and came in closer for a better look. We had great views of him, and saw him every year after and found that there was a nesting pair!!  About two years later, a friend who lived along another minimally traveled road along a creek started telling me about this odd owl she kept hearing.  I came over to get a better handle on the situation, and sure enough we heard a Barred Owl calling in the night.  That owl has been heard frequently since that time. 

Bucktoe Creek Preserve (TLC's sister preserve on which we hold programs and assist with the management) had housed a Barred Owl at one point, but it seemed to have moved on.  However, a road adjacent to Bucktoe Creek Preserve, Chandler Mill Bridge was closed and within the first year of that bridge closing, we have heard and seen a Barred Owl--we think there may be a pair.  In fact, much to the delight of our Owl Prowl participants, we got one to call on our owl prowl in November.  Register for our February Owl Prowl to see if you will get to hear or see a Barred Owl. 

If you are out driving around some quiet country roads through woodlands along a creek--keep your eyes and ears open, you might be able to find Who Cooks For You All in the woods--or out on a hunting foray!

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