barred owl on Big Oak Trail, napping. Photo Mariah Myers
Barred owl with one eye open. Owl can sleep and be awake at the same time - one eye open and one eye closed. Photo Mariah Myers
Mariah Myers, who reported to on the Big Oak Trail "crime scene", has been observing the happenings in the area. She reports on her sightings of February 21, "Soon after arriving at the Preserve today, my dog and I entered the Biocore Prairie via the Picnic Point parking lot. Just before we entered the woods heading to the Big Oak Trail and Frautschi Point, I heard a pair of Barred owls calling from near the anthropology kilns.
While hiking the new trail that connects the Biocore Prairie to the Big Oak Trail, I noticed some canine scat in the middle of the trail that looked fresh. I considered the possibility that it had just appeared fresh (very sticky, with some liquid) due to warmer temperatures lately. There also did not seem to be any hair or berries which made me suspicious that it could have been from a domestic dog. However, not even ten minutes later, at 3:43 this afternoon, I spotted a coyote trotting on the Big Oak Trail heading toward the Biocore Prairie. I was positioned on the trail just before the man-made shelter (to my left) when it trotted ahead. I was too far away and the coyote was moving too quickly to even look for an ear tag.
After the coyote sighting, we continued on the Big Oak Trail in hopes of finding my favorite Barred owl. Patience provided success as I spotted the owl halfway up the "nature crime scene" tree. I admired the owl for a few minutes and snapped some photos before leaving it to a quiet afternoon snooze in the woods. Upon re-entering the Biocore Prairie, I heard a Barred owl in the woods back towards Frautschi Point. This individual was either the one I just saw or its nearby mate."