Monday, April 8, 2013

Barred Owl-downtown Worcester

Like many of us I set off to work today in a foul mood with how nice it felt as I stepped outside to warmer temperatures and singing birds realizing I'd be shut up in the office yet again and grumble to myself about how unfair this was with the chilly weekend we just had.  At about 8:30 or so I'd have my office door shut as I had a large monetary discrepancy in an analysis I was doing and didn't want anyone to hear me drop the F-bomb.  I'd be in the zone and thought I heard a faint knocking coming from the office wall next to mine but dismissed it and went back to trying to back into my numbers.  Suddenly my co-worker Jim would sheepishly open the door, apologize for the intrusion telling me to get into his office quickly and quietly.  I'd get into his office and this is what I'd see near his window.  "Holy sh*t" I'd exclaim, "Jim, that's a Barred Owl!!".

Suddenly all hints of professionalism would cease as I'd call out to a couple of my co-workers to get in the office to have a look and I'd run to my own to grab my camera of course.  I'd be beaming something fierce as I ran out the door telling Jim that I needed this bird and that I loved him for getting it for me.  I should add Jim's fairly new and had no idea I liked birds so this must have taken him aback a tad but he handled it like a trooper with a suave reply of "thanks, I'm glad I could help".  :-p

Anyhow, after a fair amount of swooning, I'd get concerned about the little guy and wonder what would posses him to decide to rest up in the middle of downtown Worcester on a bare tree so called Tufts to get their opinion and while they agreed it was odd, there was no case for alarm as there appeared to be no trauma to the bird and was probably just resting but that didn't stop me from checking on it every five minutes or so just to see how it was doing!

Moving over to the other tree to get away from the wind.

I'd only call a couple of people because I didn't want  word to get out as I wanted the owl to get his rest with Alan being one of them of course!

We'd head outside and this is what we'd be greeted with.  I'd realize then the bird looked much nicer outside but didn't dare venture out there until Alan had it in fear it would fly off without him seeing it.

Sound asleep in "la-la land".  I'd tense up when I saw a couple bring their small child directly under the tree with a blanket to sit on and enjoy the day but the owl paid no attention to them and continued to nap with the couple having no idea an owl was directly above them!

Yes, I'm in love.

The bird would so captivate me I'd wind up taking over 122 photos of it and special bonus video!  ;-).  I know I say this with all my videos but please pardon the baby talk and heavy swooning but couldn't help myself.  This is the closest I've ever come to a Barred Owl so got a little carried away, especially while preening which is something I've never seen an owl do before so got a little carried away as how could I not!  You will hear my co-worker Jim telling me he saw the owl go to the bathroom as he knew I was concerned about the poor little guy so would shout out to me whenever any new development happened including bowel movements!  HA  :-p

In the midst of all the excitement there'd be an "Adam 12" like arrest going on nearby with up to 5 cruisers and  paddy wagon across the street from us and it didn't seem to bother the owl one bit!!  I should say this was the one day I was hoping not to see either of the Peregrine Falcon's and didn't which isn't surprising as they've been laying low lately.  I'm going to try and do some investigating during lunch this week to find out what their deal is so hoping they're on the other side of the People's building so I can see if it looks as if they plan to nest there this year.

I'd head on back to St Philips after work as I really want a Rusty Blackbird in the spring this year vs. the fall and would once again strike out but was thrilled to get my FOY Palm Warbler!

I'd spend a fair amount of time watching him as the lovely sound of spring peepers and Red-winged Blackbirds echoed throughout the wetlands and I'd be at true peace knowing this little brilliant jewel of a bird is just a taste of what's yet to come.

Take care all.


Dawn Puliafico said...

That was a gift from the birding gods! Right outside your office window! Beautiful!

Matt Mattus said...

I can't believe that that owl was downtown! Maybe Wormtown is becoming more like Central Park? I will say that you are inspiring me to get up early and squeeze some birding in before my commute.

Kim said...

I know it Dawn and a downtown Worcester 1st for me!

Matt, with all the things we have to get done during the weekend because we can't during the week I find pre work birding to be very beneficial so try and get out there if you can!


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