Whoooo was that?

(photo by Phil Bravin)The newspaper article (copyright-Message of the Week, Chester, VT):

By Paul Larochelle – Editor

If you travel Trebo Road, take a glance here and there upwards for this handsome aviary ambassador who has taken up residence in Chester.

Described by Chester photographer, Phil Bravin, as a barred owl, the raptor is probably hunting for a new piece of real estate – they often move into nesting sites vacated by squirrels or crows. If Bravin got closer, a lot closer, to the owl, he would have noted his/her deep brown eyes, the only owl residing in our region that features brown eyes – all the rest have eyes of yellow.

The barred owl, with its round head, lacks ear tufts, but does sport a fashionable undercoat with horizontal markings on the chest and vertical streaks on the stomach. While this owl has streaks on his/her stomach, in its belly you may find lunch – mice, rabbits, chipmunks, an occasional dove or even a fox – who have made the tactical error of wanding within the owls super-sight and razor talons.

Sitting on its perch, the owl turns on its hunting radar near dawn or dusk but of all the owls in our region, “it is the species most likely to be active during the day,” according to experts.

If you are wandering in the vicinity of Trebo Road, especially at night, listen for the eight-in-a-row accented hoots of the barred owl, it’s literal calling card.

Barring any accidental strikes with a automobile – the leading cause of death with these owls – and staying disease free, this fine example of aviator will be around for a long time to come.