Just past 5 PM on Wednesday, the urgent clamor of Blue Jays drew all the neighborhood songbirds and woodpeckers and eventually me also to a line of towering spruces along our neighbor's driveway in northeast Ithaca. After several minutes of searching high in the branches, where most of the little birds were, I found the source of all the alarm - a gray-morph EASTERN SCREECH-OWL only about seven feet from the ground, in the open on an outer branch. It was uncommonly beautiful against the natural dark-green backdrop, entirely but softly lit by the overcast late-afternoon sky.
Soon the songbird mob dissipated. I got my scope and over the next hour, managed to show the owl to my whole family and more than 20 curious neighbors, including a pre-K kid, a high-school senior, at least a couple of grandmothers, and many school grades and stages of life in between. Mark Chao PS. The Montezuma Muckrace, an annual bird-a-thon to raise funds for the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, takes place this weekend. Meena Haribal, my son Tilden, and I will be participating as a team called Blue and Bluer. If you are interested in pledging to the Friends in the name of our team, any other team, or even no specific team at all, please see http://www.friendsofmontezuma.org/muck_race.html#donate. Thank you. --- This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active. http://www.avast.com -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --