Spring is just around the corner here in the woods of that surround our West Michigan B&B. Among other creatures preparing for warmer days ahead, owls are selecting mates and claiming territory. We see many types of owls common here, the largest being the Great Horned Owl, pictured above.
The Kalamazoo Nature Center will be hosting outdoor, evening hikes, called Owl Prowls, for adults and older (i.e. quiet) children on Thursday, Feb 24, Friday, March 4, and Thursday, March 10. No flashlights are allowed-they may scare away wildlife and your eyes will adjust to the dark so you will see more without the flashlight anyway.
Our own experiences with the Great Horned Owl are rather special. We often hear their hooting in the evening-another name for them is the Hoot Owl. But a really close encounter happened one summer evening a few years ago at our Inn near Kalamazoo. We were enjoying a glass of wine with some of our guests on our deck overlooking the pond. The view was similar to this picture:
As it gradually got dark, suddenly an owl swooped down from trees on the left onto the grassy area. It had caught some kind of small rodent. Grasping it firmly, it flew off into the trees again. They may hoot at times, but when they hunt their flight is absolutely silent.