It was nearly dark when I noticed this owl sitting on a post in the garden. I grabbed the camera an snapped off a bunch of pictures hoping I would get a good one. This one is the best and it is good enough to tell me that we had a Barred owl visiting the garden.
Already I have looked up the nesting habits of this bird. They like old trees with nesting holes 20 feet off the ground. We have lots of those. They like to be near water. We have a small pond in the back and the Unadilla River in the front. They can have up to four nestlings and the babies stay around for 4 months. I like my odds better than the stock market! They have a great time hooting at each other. Now I'll be falling asleep listening for that hooting. They love to eat voles. I hate voles. They make me let out a primal scream whenever they come my way! Voles love to eat my plants. The foxes could use some reinforcements!
I know I'm counting my Barred owls before they hatch since so far I have seen only one. Up until now I have never even seen a Barred owl here. Now I have a picture of one right out there in the garden. I sure hope he decides to stay!