by Ann Collins
Editor’s note: We’ll be sharing a few stories from Ann’s nature observation notebooks over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy them!
Driving home from a meeting the other night, almost to the house, just about at the chicken house, a small bird fluttered to the ground.
What the heck, I thought, is that?
It landed softly on the road and just sat there looking straight into the car lights. The little bird was a soft grayish-brown and looked fluffy. It was six to eight inches tall, according to my estimate.
By then I had identified him a an Eastern screech owl. I’ve seen them here before and heard them even more often, but I’d never had such a good look.
We sat, mesmerized, looking at each other for a bit. Then he fluttered up and flew into the woods across from the chickens. He didn’t seem to be a strong flyer.
I hope he stays around. I’m not trying to raise purple martins or anything else, so everyone is welcome to hang out here. I don’t know if he is a nest robber or a predator of smaller birds. Whatever. I’ll just let nature take its course and be happy with that!