Confessions of Owl Obsession

I've heard that there is a fine line between interest in something and outright obsession.  I think my friends and family believe I crossed that line some time ago when attempts to identify and confirm our mystery owls on the hill took a rather interesting turn.

Wing Man-my fellow birding buddy-had contact with a fellow from Pulaski County who had great interest, and frankly skill, in being able to identify a wide range of birds regardless of good visuals.  Sounded like the man for the job since we never have gotten a good solid look at our owls with enough daylight.  So our expert came to Sycamore Hill one night and sure enough....our pair of owls were here.  But was he able to confirm their identity?


So he suggested setting up a trail cam on a post near another fence post that the owls seemed to enjoy perching on and hunting from.  I figured why not at this point.  I had already crossed into the deep end.  So he and his son came back later that week to set up the camera....

Setting up the trailcam

 What we had hoped to see:

Barn Owl on post

And maybe this:


What we actually saw:

Very inquisitive Bluebird

Red Tailed Hawk

One of about 100 pictures of Crows

Disgusted and taking down the trailcam

And today we are no closer to having a positive ID on our night hunters, though I have conceded the possibility that they are not Barn Owls, but may be Short-Eared Owls.  Which also are not supposed to be around here and don't match many of the characteristics that our owls do...that more closely follow those of Barn Owls.

About a month ago our owls fell silent for a few weeks' time.  Then within the last week or two we had noticed that one was back, but unfortunately not the other.  We're hoping that nothing happened to our other owl.  In a fit of obsession, after hearing the owl, I went out to the garage where I kept a monstrous spotlight my buddy gave me.  I took the spotlight to the woods by the creek and spooked it out from which it flew to the barn, then on to the field behind the hill.  I know what I saw.  And I'm no closer with an answer.  Other than...I think I'm obsessed.


vanilla said…
There are worse obsessions; but, frustrating isn't it?
Jim said…
I'm sure there's medication that will help! (With the obsession, not with identifying the owls.)

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