It's been like Wild Kingdom
around here lately. Yesterday evening, Tom Woodruff, a home builder
and one of the developers of our neighborhood, came across a Great Horned Owl beside the "creek" that recirculates from and to the south pond. He got some wonderful photos of the bird, which is rarely seen in the daylight around here. You can view a series of five photos via the Woodland Park homeowner's association website, beginning here
Photo courtesy of Tom Woodruff
As you can see, the owl is actually standing in the water. My guess is that he's been dining on the numerous leopard frogs that inhabit the stream. I hope he's also feasting on the cotton rats that were flourishing in the area earlier in the summer. I haven't spotted any in a couple of weeks, so perhaps that's the case.
I've heard this owl (or one like him), hooting in the early morning hours, and I've seen the dark shadow of one flying across the night sky, but I've yet to see one in broad daylight. What a beautiful bird!