A Boreal Visitor

You may have heard earlier this winter that northern Minnesota was experiencing an owl irruption.  This happens when deep snow cover to the north forces owls to fly south in search of easier hunting.  Many people were spotting owls on the North Shore as they drove up to visit us.  I was able to see two great grey owls when I traveled the shore, but in both cases, I was unable to take photos.

Then one day in mid-March, while working at the counter, I happened to look out the window just in time to see a bird fly to the pine tree next to the porch.  I hurried over for a better look.  Right there, outside the window by about ten feet, was the cutest little owl I had ever seen. A quick check of the bird book confirmed that it was a boreal owl.   It was perched in the branches, with the resident chickadees fluttering about.  The little birds were quite curious about this new visitor to their territory.

I called the kids downstairs to that they could see it, too, and we all took out our cameras to record it.  Soon Greg came home, and he set up his tripod to shoot some video.  The whole time, the owl just kept trying to take a nap.  He didn't seem to care that we were coming and going, in and out the door, a different camera in hand each time.  He just wanted to snooze.  This video is the result of the encounter:

The owl came back the next day for a brief visit, and then made a cameo appearance at Sharlene's.  We didn't see him again, but are very glad to have had the opportunity to not only check this one off of the bird list, but to have recorded so many good memories of it.