Friday, June 19, 2015

A Sunny Owl For A Rainy Day

Friday, June 19, 2015

As I write this St. Louis, along with much of Missouri and the states to the southwest, are experiencing a deluge of rain from the after effects of Tropical Storm Bill.  For most of this week it has been challenging to get out and see the owls in the constant rain.  With this in mind, how about a look back to the clear, sunny day of Sunday, April 19 and see what Charles was doing.

I can go weeks sometimes without seeing the owls yawn.  Other nights it is Yawn City.  This night was one such night.  Charles was perched in a Sweetgum, one of several that he used this and previous springs as a perch/roost site. He began to yawn regularly. [Be sure to double-click on each photo to see a larger version]

I have heard some people say that yawning presages the casting or ejection of a pellet but I have my doubts about that.  I have seen many dozens of pellet ejections over the years and while the owls may open their bills before ejecting a pellet, I have not seen them yawn.

The setting sun broke through and Charles began to groom in the great light.

And yawn some more.

And just look like the gorgeous owl he is.

The sun dipped below the horizon and he shifted his position, preparing to depart for a night's hunting.

Another great way learn more about the owls' behavior, is to attend one of my talks about the owls and my work with them.  I gave such a talk last week at the Scenic Regional Library-New Haven Branch and it went quite well as you can see here.  I am excited for my next talk on Saturday, June 27 at 1:00pm at the Spencer Road Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library District.   Registration and full details are here.  I hope to see you there!

Thank you for reading!

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