Owl by the stream

Today, with a class from Sandhills PS, we encountered a very unique situation – an Eastern Screech Owl fishing in the stream!

Earlier, we had seen a Mink come out of the forest and slip into a small, open section of the pond, and we decided to investigate. We took a good look at the tracks, but could not locate the weasel, despite our best efforts. During this time, we heard a male Pileated Woodpecker drumming in the distance and decided to try to track it down. As we came around the corner, some movement caught my eye down the by stream. I was shocked to see an Eastern Screech Owl flying from a low perch, landing in the stream belly-deep, then flying back up. It was only about 15m away! We watched it fishing several times. What a wonderful sighting for everyone! It certainly is not something I will forget, and to be able to share that experience with students was really incredible.

I took a photo of us watching it.

I went back at the end of the day to try to get video of this, but it only splashed down once, and it was out of video range. That time I saw it catch and eat a small fish.  Afterwards, I did managed to zoom in for a couple of photos.

As I walked back, I also saw my first active spider and my first chipmunk of 2018… Great day!