Tag Archive | animals

Neighborhood Barn Owl

When the cooler months begin in my neighborhood, and winter starts to stroll around the corner, I tend to see quite a few odd birds lurking in the nearby trees. We live directly across the street from the hills where coyotes, mountain lions, deer and hawks habitat. So I shouldn’t be so surprised when wildlife frequents our neighborhood, but it’s always a treat.

The last few weeks in the early morning while walking my dog, I’ve seen a fairly large bird propped up in the same tree across from my house. It’s not as large as a Hawk, but larger than the other birds that fly nearby. I found out that it’s a Prairie Falcon.

As I venture outside in the evening to walk my dog, I frequently see a very large white-faced bar owl take off from amongst the trees across the street from my house. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it about 2 years ago. It was perched on the fence very late one evening. I knew there was something there because it was very large and white. As my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness and I realized what I was looking at, it quickly spread its enormous wings and flew off, leaving the sound of its “whooshing” wings to reverberate in the silence on the night.

The Ghostly pale and strictly nocturnal, Barn Owls are silent predators of the night world. Lanky, with a whitish face, chest, and belly, this owl roosts in hidden, quiet places during the day. By night, they hunt on small critters in open fields and meadows. Despite a worldwide distribution, Barn Owls are declining in parts of their range due to habitat loss.

“live” cam of Barn Owls was setup at the Audubon Starr Ranch in Trabuco Canyon a few years ago. The male owl left the nest and didn’t return. The female owl instinctively went to look for a mate, abandoning the chicks. This video shows the chicks being fed by the Audubon to keep them alive.

Make sure you visit the “live” cam  at the Audubon website.  So fascinating to watch them.


Dog days

Photo Apr 28, 12 02 15 PM

I was never a real “pet” person. I never thought that I would be the kind of person that considered my dog anything but a dog. Through the years Sadie has grown on me.

We got her as a puppy back in 2008. She is a Shi-poo (half Shitzu, half poodle). I never wanted a dog, but my family did. I knew I would end up taking the brunt of the responsibility for it. Funny how being a mother has its role, even to other species. I said I would only get a dog if I could pick it out. The neighbor down the street had the cutest little dog, hypoallergenic (no shedding), smart and a great personality. I wanted the same dog, but a female.

Well, we did everything you’re not supposed to do. We got a mixed breed, and a pound puppy!! but we were blessed! Sadie ended up being an awesome dog. She is so smart, and easy to train. I put a hanging bell on the courtyard door and in only a few seconds Sadie was trained to ring the bell to go outside. She still uses it today.

I know you’re not supposed to feed your dog people food, but although we feed her people snacks from time to time, she’s very polite about it. She’s not a nagging beggar dog. In fact, when something falls on the ground she waits for permission to come get it!  When I feed her people snacks and I shake my head and say “all gone”, she walks away.

She has become part of the family. I can’t imagine life without her. In fact, imaging life without her brings tears to my eyes!

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