Barred Owl in Dunn Meadow

Early last evening, during the light rain, I was walking home through Dunn Meadow. I noticed a student close to the wooded bridge, and she was off the path and staring into the darkness near the creek. She noticed me looking at her, and said excitedly: “There’s an owl!” 

I looked and sure enough there was a large owl sitting on a limb hanging over the Jordan. It’s stripped breast and size were a dead give away. She assumed the owl was fishing, but I opined that it was more likely looking for mammals or birds coming to drink, but after checking my books, I realized she could be right. That part of the Jordan has a fairly large shiner population, as well as the numerous birds, chipmunks, squirrels, shrews, raccoons and others who visit the Jordan for water. 

The owl flew to another low branch on the mulberry tree that crosses the creek near the bridge. I was able to get pretty close and watch his/her movements, and could see that the bird was definately watching the water. I got a couple of dark, grainy pics. From one angle you can see the outline of bird and branch, and in the other the barred breast is quite visible. I can testify that even in the rain, owls make very little noise when flying.

From Animal Traces in the Hoosier Uplands
From Animal Traces in the Hoosier Uplands