Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Star of Bluebonnet Swamp

Since I had such good luck a few days ago finding Barbara the barred owl at Bluebonnet Swamp, I had to test my good fortune once again. I ran into my birding buddies there and together we waited by the same cypress tree as before. Over an hour later, Barbara made her mid-afternoon appearance to the same tree; however, she sat on a branch that was positioned much higher. This shoot was more challenging for many reasons, among them, harsh lighting and dangling tree limbs. Overall though, I am satisfied with this set.
The first thing Barbara did was hock up a large object that fell into the water.
Bertha, my bratty camera, failed to catch the object. :(

The next order of business was grooming. She groomed for a long time.

Being a new mother, she's probably behind on her mani/pedi.

We all held our breath as this snake swam right below her.
We could see Barbara tracking it with her eyes, but she didn't go for it.
Wouldn't that have been a sight?

Her meal of choice appears to be crawfish right now. She and I have something in common! :)

We think she was preparing this red bug (crawfish) for her babies.

As she delivered the meal a blue jay started dive bombing her. Once again, Bertha failed to capture a major element of the scene.

Because of the blue jay's torments she dropped the meal inside the hollow tree and waited.

After the blue jay gave up Barbara flew over to another cypress tree near her owlets.


Parenting in nature is fascinating. One of my birding buddies said that Barry was a slacker father and that Barbara could do better. It's true I haven't seen him around much, but maybe he's out on the perimeter, keeping the bad guys away. In any case, Barbara seems perfectly capable of handling her motherly duties. At one point there were eight of us gawking at her in the tree and she never said boo...or hoot, I guess is more accurate. :) She's the calmest, coolest mom ever.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Guess where I'll be? :) Since I probably won't post again until Monday, I wish for everyone a blessed Easter!

Please visit other blogs linking to

43 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

she's a cool one, that's for sure! :) may there be plenty of mud bugs for her.

EG CameraGirl said...

Wonderful series of photos, Gail. Barred owls are very cool! I would love to have a set of photos of Barbara (or a Canadian cousin) grooming herself.

Kittie Howard said...

Barbara's capturing everyone's hearts! (And you know she's gonna get that snake another day!)

Happy Easter, Gail, to you and yours!

Barbara Shallue said...

You definitely rose to the challenge. These are awesome captures! Thank you for sharing Barbara with us!

Stephanie said...

Another delightful visit, Gail. Barbara is certainly fascinating :) And that snake *shutters*....snakes make my skin crawl.

Hugs to you,
Stephanie

hootnonny said...

Barbara's daily rituals are interesting. Are red bugs and crawfish the same thing?

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness I love to read about Barbara and her babies. You sat an hour to get that. Amazing.

I wish you a very blessed Easter.

sandie

Lisa Gordon said...

I think they are just fine, Gail, and how nice it was that Barbara came back to see you!

I wish you a very Happy Easter!

Phil said...

Those pictures are just brilliant Gail, not only the actual shots, but capturing the behaviour too. I wonder if Barred Owls normally take so much prey from water or is it because of your proximity to water you are seeing this happen?

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Amazing pictures. Have a wonderful Easter weekend and happy shooting.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Happy Easter to you guys too! Fabulous series. Barbara is a true Louisiana girl...I love crawfish too, so maybe I can be an honorary one!)

(I was in awe of the parenting skills of the eagles..even of Ozzie..I think that's probably kind of rare in the bird world. (Or leave out the word bird...although my husband was more like an eagle!)

Charlotte Wilson said...

You just gave me the best treat! I have a thing for owls, maybe because of the Kennesaw State Owls (a basketball team here).
I want that last photo! Lo)

charlotte

Kerry said...

Awesome pics of a difficult subject. I'm ok with Bertha not capturing the hock; it's enough that I can imagine it. :)

Have a happy Easter weekend!

Deanna said...

Barbara is definitely cool...and you captured her brilliantly!!

eileeninmd said...

Barbara is cool and calm. I guess the daddy is not involved with taking care of the owlets. Great photos! I really enjoyed this series, Gail!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Love seeing barbara. Also...now I miss crawfish season. Oh how I loved crawfish season. Sigh.

Buttons said...

Oh you have no idea how your posts make me so happy. They are beautiful photos that have me in awe every time. Love the names.
Happy Easter Gail. B

Stewart M said...

I suppose it better for undigested claws to come out that way than the other!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Linda said...

Bless you for your patience in waiting for these shots. This is a marvelous series. Love that one of Barbara on the branch with her crawfish in her mouth. There are a couple of her in the trees, too, that are breathtaking. I know you're only seeing one owl at a time, but is it possible that you're seeing the male sometimes and the female other times? I understand their markings are very similar.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Barbara is beautiful but I fear it was the mudbugs which captured my attention...yummmm mudbugs!

Have a joyous Easter, see you Monday!

Mitzi@Sweet Country Living said...

Such a beautiful creature! You have captured her well. Big hugs, xoxo

rainfield61 said...

What a day to spent with Barbara the barred owl,

and the snake.

travelintoadventure@gmail.com said...

Magical to capture these beautiful images..
Hugs

Haddock said...

Lovely capture of events and excellent pictures.

Hilary said...

How lucky for you to have the ongoing adventures of Barbara. It's not everyday that nature unfolds before our eyes this way. Thank you for sharing her with us. Have a wonderful Easter, Gail.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Wonderful series. She's so gorgeous.

Rosie Grey said...

What a fantastic series, Gail! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

beth said...

these are gorgeous and make the owl photos i took today look, ummmmm......bad.

xo

Brian King said...

I think these are awesome! I've never photographed an owl before. In fact, I've rarely seen them in daylight. Nice job! You've got a regular honey hole or two there.

Thanks for letting me know about the problem with my new posts. I was wondering why I was suddenly getting so few visitors. Apparently, you aren't the only one not getting my updated feed. I've done everything I can do to correct it. I hope it doesn't become a regular problem.

Richard Pegler said...

An absolutely magical set of images Gail. I'm in love with your Barred Owls!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Barbara is quite the star!! Love that photo of her eating the crawfish. Have a great Easter!!

bailey-road.com said...

Such a great series!

Shug said...

So glad that you have named this sweet owl. Barbara is just perfect!

Hope you and your family have a Blessed Easter Sunday. Happy Easter to you all!! Prayers for you always.
hugs...
shug

Anni said...

That last photo is stunning. A blue jay tormented her? Hmmmm, nasty jay!! She's beautiful. But, I wish she would have attacked the snake tho, I hate snakes. LOL

Linda R said...

Your just made my morning with these gorgeous shots. They are amazing.

Happy Easter to you.

Hugs~

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Ps....the other day, Bud and I were at one of the birding centers in Port Aransas Texas and Bud spotted two alligators in the pond, by the reed/cat tail plants. I thought right away, of your previous post.

Happy Easter.

Betty Manousos said...

happy easter!!

xo

love your photos and blog btw.

Patrice said...

What a beauty, Gail - its' funny that she's eating crawfish!

Rosemary Aubut said...

Gorgeous captures Gail! Happy Easter to you and your family!

Barb Brookbank said...

What a wonderful sight to see! Your photos are fantastic - including the water snake!

Starla said...

Your pictures are the next best thing to going on a hike

NatureFootstep said...

Loved to se your shots of Barbara. Maybe more will come? :)

Mitzi@Sweet Country Living said...

I can never remember if I've commented on a post these days. I know I saw this one...and this Owl is so gorgeous! I love how you managed to capture it in so many aspects. Hugs, xoxo