Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hootin' and Makin' History

Hola CK9 followers,

So today, I made history.  That's right, history.  We all know about George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jane Goodall.  Now, I feel like one of them.

Let me start from the beginning.  So we were out one night hooting, honestly, not really expecting a response- we'd never had a response in this area before, and this wasn't our first visit.  Then, out of nowhere, a contact call!  The high pitched NEEEEP was both exciting and a little odd.  Exciting in the fact that there was an owl here, odd in the sense that it sounded like it was coming from about 50 feet in front of me on the road.  I took a bearing, drove around the corner of the ridge a little, and took another bearing.  We were set for our follow up the next day.  Score!  Plus, we got to delete most of the other call points in the cell for the evening.  Double score!

Well, we go the next afternoon for our follow up.  We show up, barely get off a single hoot from the hootinator (I dubbed it 'Silverback' due to the mad gorilla noise it makes for an agitated NSO call) and then, NEEEP!  Once again, she was at the same bearing, and she sounded like she was right on the road- odd.  We hike up about 100 feet, maybe... and boom! another contact call, AND an owl.  I'd have to say, this was the best followup ever.

Well, when we find an owl, we have to offer it mice in the hope that it will take the food to its mate or its nest, and we can see if if has babies or not.  For this owl, I got to feed it.  That's how I made history.  I put a mouse on a branch, and the owl swooped down, grabbed the mouse, and I didn't even feel the branch move.  Score x3!!  Three mice in all met their fate, me at the helm... The owl was in a rather italian mood for the first mouse, turned it into spaghetti, and slurped it up.  The second was eaten in more of a mongolian style- chunks of meat with the occasional pause.  The last mouse was cached, saved for later to be made into whatever type of cuisine the owl desired.

This was a particularly dainty owl.  She preened and cleaned like there was no tomorrow- and yes, she remembered to get behind her ears (even though owls don't really have ears, she found hers!)  Her nails were all nice, and her feathers done just right.  If you didn't know that she'd just grabbed and devoured mice, you would have no idea.

So, that's how I made history.  I fed an owl.  Okay, maybe not al that historical when compared to other people, but historical for me, and that's all that matters.

Adios from the Owl Crewhouse, don't worry, there're more stories where that came from, and if you're lucky, I might just share!

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