Monday, December 31, 2007

The Story of the Barred Owl (Strix varia)

Location: Sumter Oaks Park, Bushnell, Fl

On my last day in this park, the Barred Owl I have been searching for showed up! And I heard his story from some folks who were staying here last year:

Once upon a time, there were two Owls who lived in the great Oak Trees that ring Sumter Oaks Campground. Mama and Papa Owl were very much in love, and soon their nest was filled with cooing baby owlets! Mama Owl went hunting one morning, and probably saw a tasty Mr. Mouse scurrying along the roadside. She fixed her gaze on Mr. Mouse, and began her Dive of Death. Oh, no! Mr. Automobile came around the bend, just as Mama Owl reached the road. Splat! Mama Owl died there on the asphalt. The Humans in the campground found her, and they felt sadness for her and for the motherless baby owlets. "What would become of them?" they wondered. But Mother Nature understands how to care for Her offspring, and gave Papa Owl the wisdom and knowledge to care for his baby chicks. And this he did, and when they were old enough, the baby owlets flew from the nest and began their Life on the Wing. Who knows? Maybe this owl was one of those chicks. Or just maybe it was Papa Owl himself! Probably, though, it's just some owl that wandered into the campground and doesn't really give a hoot about any of this.

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