Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Throw Forward and A Throwback

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some excellent media coverage on the owls and my work with them is coming up in the near future. This Saturday, July 11 at 3:00PM CST, an interview with yours truly will air on KTRS The Big 550AM  I went to the KTRS studios yesterday and was honored to be the guest of Jean Ponzi on her superb show, Growing Green St. Louis.  Jean is a leading expert, exponent and educator on all matters relating to sustainability, biodiversity, and more.  I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of  her talks and she is beyond informative, fun and engaging.  We had a blast talking about the owls and my work with them and I cannot wait for you all to hear it!  A few days after Saturday's broadcast, it will be online and I will be sure to have a link to it on this blog under the collection of links on the right side of the page.  

One radio appearance with Jean Ponzi is a thrill, honor and a pleasure but she is having me on her second program, the podcast Earthworms on KDHX 88.1FM.  We will have the interview on Tuesday, July 14 and the podcast will be up later that night.  I will also link to that podcast when it is up and available. 

The timing of these radio appearances is superb as I have two talks on the owls next week.  The first talk is on Wednesday, July 15 for Gateway Greening as part of their Pints 'n Plants lecture series. This will be my second talk for this lecture series and I am grateful to Gateway Greening for having me back. This general talk on the owls is from 6:30-7:30pm at  Urban Chestnut Brewing Company ,4465 Manchester Ave. St. Louis, MO, 63110 in the Grove neighborhood. Urban Chestnut makes great beer and their Bier Hall's food has had some amazing reviews like this one. Owls, beer and food-what a great combination! 

My second talk next week is a more specific one on a rather meaty subject.  It is "Forest Park Owls: Hunting and Feeding", 11:00am, Saturday, July 18, 2015, St. Louis Country Library-Cliff Cave Branch, 5430 Telegraph Rd., Oakville, MO 63129.  This is my third talk at this branch in south St. Louis County.  I have been lucky to present at several SLCL locations but this will be the first time I have given three talks at the same branch.  Not the last though:)

In much of the social media world Thursdays are a time to post old photos, videos and stories thus turning the day into Throwback Thursday.  The following was something I wanted to post immediately after it happened but time did not allow.  I hope you will agree that it is better late than never.  On April 20, 2015 I headed into the owls' territory.  The previous day and night was blustery and windy. Soon after arriving I found Sarah she flew to one of the trees in The Middle Conifers. Over the years I saw her both cache and un-cache prey in this particular tree.  As you can see the tree has a large crotch at the top of it.

She began to look in this crotch of the tree undoubtedly seeking cached prey to feed the growing and ever-hungry owlets . [Be sure to double click on the pictures to see a larger version]

Not finding what she sought she walked out to a nearby branch.  For all their grace in flight, Great Horned Owls walk with comic awkwardness.  

She continued to look all around.

As she looked around she gave me a great view of her massive talons.

Sarah flew to an adjacent conifer to look from a different angle and perspective. By now I was more than convinced that the windy conditions had disrupted the contents of Sarah's prey pantry.

Not having any luck from this new spot, she flew closer to her original tree but landed much closer to the ground.

Watch what happened next!

Once on the ground, Sarah looked carefully around her. Anytime I see the owls on the ground they are the personifications of acute caution and awareness. Despite their size and power, they are most vulnerable when on the ground.

As you will see all of her efforts were worth it! What an owl and owl mother!

She landed at the edge of The Wooded Area and gave the prey to one of the owlets, most likely Grace.

Grace had some challenges feeding on what her mother gave her but that is a story for another time.

Thank you for reading!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rebekah. One tries, one occasionally succeeds. :)