I was happy to be one of the first visitors out on the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary the other day. As I walked along in silence, I caught a glimpse of a large bird as it flew through the foliage over the swamp, off to my right. It glided by soundlessly and disappeared into the trees (See this fascinating Audubon article: The Silent Flight of Owls Explained.)
Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell it had been a large brown bird with wide wings, and – judging by its silent flight – I’d guessed it was an owl. My first thought was that I’d missed really seeing it. But then, much to my delight, the large Barred Owl flew over to a branch out in the open, right in front of me! The owl sat there gazing up and down, forward and backward, watching and listening closely to every sound. What a joy to be alone in its presence!
“Barred Owls roost on branches and in tree cavities during the day and hunt by night . . . . They hunt by sitting and waiting on an elevated perch, while scanning all around for prey with their sharp eyes and ears.” Maybe this Owl was out for an early breakfast! To learn much more about the beautiful Barred Owl, check out All About Birds-Barred Owl!
I love this sign near the beginning of the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp!
To learn more about this southwest Florida treasure, check out Corkscrew Swamp‘s website: https://corkscrew.audubon.org.