Sunday, February 13, 2022

Superb Owl Sunday

On the way home from church this morning Judy read a post from our daughter about Superb Owl Sunday and it reminded me that I was going to do a post today on that topic (I first heard of it a few days ago). Then she asked me if I'd ever eaten owl (and offered that she hoped I never would). I've never eaten owl, but my great grandfather did. On December 5, 1849, while traveling to California as part of the gold rush, while camped near the Mojave River in California's High Desert, George Q. Cannon was ill and spent the day in their tent while others went out to hunt for deer as their provisions were gone. That morning a man in camp shot an owl and made soup out of it. George noted that "hunger gnawed" at him and being ill he was given the privilege of being one of the first to try the owl soup. Another travel companion, Henry Bigler, described the soup as "first rate," and George said it was "the nicest dish of soup [he] had ever tasted." 

That said, I love owls and I'm glad a day each year is devoted to recognizing them. 

As a young boy I caught a northern saw-whet owl in City Creek Canyon (Utah) and had it as a pet for awhile. It is the only saw-whet owl I've ever seen. 
This photo was taken at my grandmother, Tutu's, home. 

We have barn owls in Live Oak Canyon near our home. I've had some fun encounters with them the last few years. 

In our trips to Africa we've seen a number of Verreaux's eagle owls. This one at Buffalo Springs in Kenya was feeding on a genet in a tree. 

On a night safari in Masai Mara, Kenya.

In the Okavanga Delts of Botswana.

An Oriental scops owl in Udwalawe NP, Sri Lanka. 

Over the last year and a half I have visited the Salton Sea at least 22 times. It has something like 70% of all of the burrowing owls in California. I have seen hundreds of borrowing owls and have probably taken thousands of burrowing owl photos. I don't have time to go through and take out my favorite photos, but I share a few of them. I love burrowing owls. 

These burrowing owl photos were all taken on one day. 

A neighbor on Mirasol Drive had a great horned owl nest in their yard.

Our next door neighbor had a great horned owl nest in their tree this past year. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the chicks survived. 

Years ago chicks from a nest in our neighbors yard did survive. Here is one of the chicks just out of the nest hiding in the plants in our yard. 

A couple in a barn on Antelope Island, Utah.

I commissioned the painting of a great horned owl from a wildlife artist years ago that hangs in my office at work. 

I also commissioned the carving of a great horned owl by my uncle, Maynard Sorensen, who (now retired) was a wonderful bird carver. It is in our living room at home. 

I discovered a grouping of long-eared owls (varying from about 4 to 20, depending on the date of the visit) in the desert near Corn Springs and visited them a number of times last winter. 

Finally, a small western screech-owl, also found at Corn Springs.
It is a Superb Sunday, or any day of the week, really, when I see an owl. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture of the owl on Mirasol drive. It looks like it is wearing a mink coat. It is amazing to think we have so many different owl species around us!