Two Beautiful Owls

Somehow it always seems special to see an owl. I guess because they are nocturnal so they seem pretty rare.  At least sightings of them are rare.  Also the fact that they are birds of prey means that they are automatically up there in my favorite category.  I haven’t seen too many owls in my lifetime, and I think I can remember each time I have seen one.  If I count them up they come to exactly seven.  So here are photos of two of my very memorable sightings.  The first one was taken outside our house in Ohio.  An orangey colored screech owl trying to hide in a maple tree in autumn.  He was not terribly successful though he got the color right at least.

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These two have a lot of parallels.  The second one is an African Scops Owl found here in Zambia. It is quite similar in size, and also general looks to the screech owl. And although this one was photographed in Blue Lagoon National Park,  there is also one that occasionally visits our yard here in Lusaka.  

(Photos by Jonathan Moeller)

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African Cuckoo-Hawk

A couple months ago, I was super excited to see this African Cuckoo-Hawk hanging around in one of our Eucalyptus trees.  We saw them for several days in a row and eventually we determined they were building a nest as they would bring branches with them.  You can see he is holding one in the picture.  There were two of them, and I must say, they seemed very awkward as they took turns climbing into and out of their chosen nest site and then attempting to build onto it.  The two of them spent a lot of time near our yard for about two weeks and we watched their nest grow.  I was really looking forward to watching them raise their young, and maybe  even get to see the young fledge, etc..  Unfortunately, they disappeared as quietly as they had arrived and I haven’t seen either of them since.  What a shame.

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And here the two of them are testing the nest site.

And here the two of them are testing the nest site.

Happy New Year!

I wanted to share a photo of this bird specifically because it makes me think of new beginnings.  The White-browed Robin-Chat wakes me up almost every day so I associate it with starting the day or beginnings in general.  It has a varied sweet song that it often repeats three or more times in a row. It is kind of a shy bird and I haven’t actually seen him in a few days, but I still hear him every morning so I know he is still around.  He also calls at different times during the day, especially if it is cloudy.  Almost as if he is trying to brighten up the day with his music. 

You can click here  http://ibc.lynxeds.com/species/white-browed-robin-chat-cossypha-heuglini  to go to a new page and hear his song.

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