Nature Restocking the Shelves

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Not the ones around us

Spring just brings so much life and color back into the world. We see it in the flowers and the trees that go from bare to full of bright green almost overnight. There are the birds that took off for the winter and now return to add their color and music to the world. And we get to see nature reproduce and we get new life.

You can say it is just instinct but I happen to believe that the wildlife sees or feels clues that we may miss. We had a solitary owl all winter who normally perched on a tree branch and just spent the day watching the world from that perch. Then we started to hear the calls while it was still in winter, they were searching for suitable mates to start the process of keeping the species going.

We’ve suspected that they were nesting once we saw one flying into a hole in an old beech tree. They kept calling to each other every so often. We’d joke that it was discussions about what to have for dinner. We could have done without the conversations in the middle of the night but it was a small price to pay to have these wonderful birds so close.

We were sure they had nested and had offspring last year but we could never catch sight of them because the leaves came out and blocked our view. I guess one positive thing from our relatively cold April is that the trees are behind where they were last year. So, yesterday, my wife noticed something sitting just outside the hole (we’ve seen the female there a few times) and got the binoculars and saw an owlet just perched on the edge and looking at the world.

Later, I noticed the sibling had joined so we went outside to get a closer look. As we turned the binoculars on them, they turned to look at us. I wonder what they thought. I mean from an owl’s perspective everything that moves and is smaller is potential food. Things that move but are bigger must fall into some other category – not food but still something to pay attention to.

So we stared at them and they stared at us for a bit. Didn’t see the parents – I’m guessing Mom was taking a break. The nest is likely pretty crowded now so I’m sure she enjoys the freedom to be out and away after spending most of the last month in there.

Soon, they will get their real feathers rather than the fuzz they have now. Then, they will leave the safety of the nest to make their way into the world. Given how fast the trees leaf out, we likely won’t get too many more views of them and probably won’t see them fly off and we certainly won’t know what happens to them.

But we got one view of the two of them observing the world – maybe for the first time. If you’re a bird lover, you’d get how exciting it was.

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