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Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus

Featured image credit: “Great Horned Owl” by flythebirdpath is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To hear songs, learn identification information, migratory patterns, and some fun facts, check out the Great Horned Owl page offered by one of my favorite resources: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology »

I do have a Great Horned Owl story. One night I got word from a neighbor that local and regional police were on a manhunt for two people on the run that were wanted to possible attempted murder. They were nearby in our area and we were told to shelter in place.

I was only a LITTLE freaked out. Just a little. So I went up to the highest level on the house and blew up an air mattress (there are no bedrooms up there) and turned off all the lights, had a glass of wine, a rice krispie treat (comfort food?), my computer, and tried to settle down by talking to a few friends of mine, notably someone who is also connected to nature.

She suggested asking the trees and everything else out here for protection. I know it sounds a little woo-woo (as my mom would say), but when there is a manhunt outside your door, and you live on a mountain, kind of secluded, you’ll do anything to try and get protection and feel better. (She also suggested I can just drive the hour to her house and stay with her but for some silly reason I didn’t).

Anyway, eventually the next morning, as dawn was just warming up the sky, I was awoken to the “whoo whoo whoo” of the Great Horned Owl. And I swear it was singing the all-clear. Because by that point, the people were no longer in the area (they hadn’t yet found them, but they had murdered one person, stole his car and shot another nearby). I felt like that owl was keeping watch, and telling me it was finally safe.

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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