• Bryan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Great Horned Owl: Everglades National Park - Dec 5, 2016.At dusk. We heard a distinctive hoot from inside some shrubs and small trees near a lookout over the sea of grass that is the Everglades. Looking inside - there it was. Unforgettable. Our first owl seen in the wild. I'd attach the photo but it's very blurry and not at all clear due to the low light conditions. But with the naked eye (and binoculars) it was very clear!
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was in the Nevada desert a few years ago camping. It was dusk and I was walking back to camp on a little animal trail. You could barely see. It was black and white and then looking south I could see something with a long wing span slowly flying towards me then about 10 feet away and about 20 feet above a Barn Owl flaps its wings to stay in one place and went back and forth screeching at me looking at me 3 times and turned in the direction it came and flew off until I could not longer them. I took it as a blessing.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I've seen a Great Horned Owl as a friend and I canoed down a stream - it was broad daylight and we looked up and there it was on a high branch, looking right at us!  It was big and beautiful. When we were opposite the owl, it flew, but right over us!  I also saw a Great Horned Owl mom and an owlet high up in their nest in a large tree on the edge of a small forested area. (This was not by chance - someone had told me where to see this nest.) I saw a Barred Owl high on a branch of a large tree in the afternoon one time, and I saw it because it had made a few calls. That was really cool! And I've seen a family of Eastern Screech Owls with a red morph dad and gray morph mom in a wooded area near where we live. One year they fledged at least 5 babies, and one evening at late dusk we actually looked up in a small tree and saw 2 owlets on one branch and 3 owlets on the opposite branch looking right at us, looking pretty surprised.  We were transfixed just like they were, and everyone seemed frozen! The mom was higher in another tree (she was clearly Not frozen in surprise) and she "told" them to leave and as she flew away they all followed her. They just silently disappeared one by one.  This was a magical moment for sure!!!  I didn't have the camera with me (of course) and it was too dark to get a shot anyway. Doesn't matter, you never forget a sight like thatIMG_8144! Thanks for this great course.
    • Patience
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      I saw what a guide told me was a Mottled Owl in Costa Rica. But it is different than the Mottled Owl featured in this course. Are there a lot of species of Mottled Owls? I wonder which one I saw? Here it is. IMG_1205
    • I have seen one owl  in real life before. It was an eastern screech owl, and I think they are very cute! It has been featured in this course so far, and the picture was ADORABLE. It was also asleep.
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      For many years, I had an Eastern Screech Owl occupy backyard birdhouses I originally built for kestrels and flickers. I saw him/her most often in the spring, sunning in the entrance to the house in the late afternoon. I frequently watched until dusk when (s)he departed, always in the same direction. Sometimes I would be awakened very early on a summer morning by a small flock of bluejays harassing the owl - perching on the top of the birdhouse, peeking into the house, screeching, often for an hour or more, and from time to time I would find a little pile of blue feathers below the tree, where clearly the owl had his revenge. Much later in the day, long after the jays had moved on, the owl would have a long nap in his doorway, awaiting sundown.  This little owl seemed to spend many days in other trees around my yard, often camouflaged just a few feet above a well-used sidewalk. SleepyOwl We also had a Great Horned owl pair often seen in the tip-top of a tall Ponderosa pine, though one once got stuck amid the tangle of branches in my pear tree. It looked quite awkward and embarassed until it finally freed itself and flew off.
    • Marilyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      About 12 years ago I was camping in Forestville State Park in south/central Minnesota in late autumn. The park is in what is left of a once large forest but is now surrounded by open farmland. I was walking alone on a wide path surrounded by bare trees (almost a corridor) when just ahead of me was a snowy owl flying straight at me. It seemed like it was staring at me with great intent. I was, and still am, amazed by its wingspan, its yellow eyes, the shape of its face, its speed and grace. It was eye level with me for a just a second or two but I'll never forget it. For years I thought it couldn't be a snowy owl because it was too far south, not quite winter, the sun was shining and we were in the trees. But there's just no other explanation I've found, and to be honest, I don't want to find another explanation. It was a magnificent sight.
    • Kadi
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      This summer a clutch of Northern pygmy owls hatched near our cabin! I went out in the mornings to try to observe them - they seemed to be eating up the entire forest - birds, short-horned lizards, and rodents. I counted six of them at one time. The size of the fly on the owl's head really drives home how tiny these little guys are.NPOW_20200624_2NPOW_20200625NPOW_20200629_1
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Where is your cabin? What a great sighting! And nice photos.
      • Kadi
        Participant
        Chirps: 7

        @Patience Thank you! We live in Bryce Canyon National Park.

      • Gretchen
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Kadi What an amazing place to live!!

      • Nemo
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        This is one of the best pictures I have seen of a pygmy owl.
      • Kadi
        Participant
        Chirps: 7

        @Nemo Thank you! It was a pleasure to be able to spend time with this ferocious family.

      • Paul
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Fantastic photo. It must have been a wonderful experience!!!
    • I have seen Barred Owls in the woods in the afternoon here in Pennsylvania. And I almost hit a Barn Owl driving home from work on a rural road in Indiana a few years back. All I saw was pale swerve out of the way of my car.   About had a heart attack.
    • Mindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Well, I’ve heard them, called back and forth with them on night hikes in central and southwest Ohio.  Barred owls I believe.  I have the pleasure of seeing owls at the Glen Helen raptor center in my community. To my recall, I have only seen one in its natural free state while up on Prince Edward Island about 28 years ago.  So, in my book, it high time I see some more owls!
    • Kathie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I've seen three owls. The first one was sitting on a fence in Carmel, CA. At the time I didn't know what kind it was. A few years ago a Great Horned Owl sat on the roof of the house across the street, in the SF Bay Area. It was  there for at least 24 hours.   And we had a Western Screech Owl stay in our Flicker bird house for a couple of days, in Central Oregon.DSC_0659
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Great capture! What an intent look on his face.
    • I have only seen a Great horned owl  at a distance, but where I live in central North Carolina is packed with barred owls, although they are hard to find and or see, they are easy to hear, they make a racket in the morning, and I have actually called back and fourth with one multiple times after I learned how to imitate their call.20201123161453__MG_720820201123161506__MG_720920201123161324__MG_7201 Here are some pictures I got at the Local bog garden
    • Great horned owl and barred owl. Hear the Great horned owl mostly but now and then I do spot them in the trees. They have their usually roosting places around the lake. One day saw the adult and chick in the tree. IMG_2202
    • Else
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      A few kilometres away from where I live are nesting sites of Eurasion eagle-owls (Bubo bubo). It’s nice to see the first flights of their young. I've also seen a group of roosting long-eared owls (Asio otus) in a tree. Location: Western Europe. 20181201_143828
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Long-eared owl look like a cartoon owl to me. The only one I've ever seen was here in Pennsylvania, USA, but it was so buried in a pine tree you could barely see it. Your photo shows them so nicely!
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Yes! I am enamored with owls.  It started when I put up a screech owl box in my back yard in Dallas, TX and was lucky enough to have a pair of Eastern Screech Owls nest in it for 5 years!  This led me to volunteer at a local raptor center where I got to interact up close and personal with many different owl species - mainly screech owls, barn owls, great horned owls, and barred owls.  But the most amazing experience was when we got a Snowy Owl into our rehab clinic!  Yes, in Dallas, TX during an irruption year.  We were able to nurse it back to health, and it got a plane ride further north to be released in Minnesota.  I have since moved to Oregon and am volunteering at a different wildlife center where we have ambassador Eurasian Eagle owls and a Tawny Owl that I get to interact with.  And I've seen a Great Grey Owl in the wild. 8DF10C39-C061-4A2E-BA29-E838160031F9_1_105_c C73B1093-1965-4E92-A94B-161A91DEB6DD_1_105_c
      • What a great photo of those two owlets looking out of their nest box! Lucky you to have watched that box support five years of owl families!
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 45
        What a great photo!  It looks like they have little personalities, from the looks on their faces.  You've just given me an idea about volunteering (once this COVID crisis goes away).  Good for you for doing that!
    • leila
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      • I was on a nature walk on a course in Toronto and saw a Northern Saw-whet owl in a fir tree.  It was very special and it just looked at us probably wondering why we are so interested in it.  It just sat there staring with its lovely eyes looking wise.  I think it was sleeping and we most likely woke it up.  It was well hidden in the fir tree of a side path and it felt safe.  It was so still it was amazing.  I love seeing owls especially in the city.  It is such a sweet small owl with its brownish colors and white underneath the brownDSCN0074
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Nice find! I am hoping to see one someday -- they come through PA, where I live, but I have never seen one.
    • Melanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      My most memorable experience with an owl was when I felt its wings beating.  It was like a strong breeze in the middle of the night.  I was at a Girl Scout camp at Mendota, Illinois.  We took a night hike.  The girls were noisy, as usual. That was all right because I didn't feel alone.  Then we came to a really dark part of the trail and stopped.  We clicked off our flashlights.  The, a Hoo - hoo a hoo a hoo.  The girls screamed and ran back.  I sat down, still, sensing the air, the night.  The owl flew over me and beat its wings, flying with a strength and force.  The wind of its wings covers me with a complete feeling of its presence.  Then, it was gone.  I went back to the lodge and wrote the experience down in a journal.  It was too precious to lose.  Later, in my 30's I saw a tiny owl in Ankarafantsika Forest during the day.  I took a photo and will keep it always.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      0315g I have loved and observed birds since I was a little girl. However, even into my 50's, I never saw an owl. Spotting (and photographing) one became my amateur birding mission! I did everything wrong at first, and learned slowly. However, even though I have spotted many now, each sighting is awesome and thrilling! One note, even though owls are nocturnal, they don't "disappear" in the daytime. They are still around, just hiding well- mostly.  This young Barred owl hopped up onto a branch in front of me at 10 in the morning!
    • Shadia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Yes. My first time seeing owls, they were in captivity, at a park in Hokkaido, Japan.  They have at least 20 different species including a snowy owl.  In Osaka, there is also an "Owl Cafe" that I visited, where patrons can eat and see watch different kinds of owls.  This experience was before I became interested in birding, now I think it is sad they are all captured and not free. The first and only owl I have seen in the wild was an Ural Owl, actually a few.  They were breathtaking.  I couldn't stop taking pictures.  Baby-Ural-owl
    • Marcia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      What a fabulous course! It's encouraging me to investigate more of what eBird has to offer. I'm so thankful to have the chance to listen to owls who live halfway across the world, ones I'll never get to hear in real life. I've been on a few Owl Prowls which mostly did not find any owls... but it's always so much fun to go with like-minded people, because you never know if this will be the time 5 or 6 owls will show up! A few years ago I did see an owl swoop down my street in the city, on a winter night. I don't know if it was during the snowy owl irruption year. It was a white owl, though. They're just the most fascinating birds!
    • Tammy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Thank you for offering this course!  Owls are amazing birds. I have seen quite a few. I would really like to see a Snowy Owl but I live in a part of the US that doesn’t have that owl!  This is a barred owl that was photographed in Lower Suwannee NWR, in Florida.   I was also fortunate enough to watch and photography juvenile Great Horned Owls.  I have also seen Burrowing Owls.  They are smaller than I thought they would be.  I did see a Eurasian Eagle Owl as well but this was because the owl was in a rehabilitation facility and cannot be released into the wild again.  EF2D3DC6-16CE-4BC4-BDDE-5A8EC5C38154
    • This is a wonderful course! Thank you for offering it! And thanks for the opportunity to hear the owl encounters of others! My encounters with owls have primarily been while hiking in the high desert of southern California during the winter months. Here are two photos of owls I have seen there: A long-eared owl that was day-roosting in a shady canyon in Joshua Tree National Park; it looks startled not just because of my presence but because it was being mobbed by California scrub jays. And a western screech owl looking out from its nest hole in a cottonwood at Whitewater Canyon Preserve. This photo of the screech owl is especially interesting because I think it illustrates that some owls have independent pupillary control of their eyes; the pupil in the shade is open wider than the one in the sun. 796D3114-3C12-489F-B0FD-DB7234487CA4DB64AE60-BDE7-4A8C-9CB0-7E19DF1AEF55
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Wow, that is so interesting about the pupils being independent. Who would have thought?
    • Jenna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Last year I watched a pair teach their babies how to hunt. I heard them first, when I turned the lights on, they didn't leave, just looked around. Right in my back yard, our house backed up to a 30 acre green space. I think they were barred owls, based on their calls, and description, but I didn't get any pictures. There were three babies and two adults. It was incredible.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have actually seen quite a few owls in real life but my favorite was back in February 2013 when the irruption of Snowy Owls extended down to Tybee Island, Georgia where one hung around to long enough for me to see it.
      • Jenna
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        WOW! I wish I knew about this, I would have driven down for sure!
      • Mary
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        That is amazing to have gotten to see a Snowy Owl at Tybee Island. What a once in a lifetime experience!
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      So far I have seen Snowy owls, Northern Hawk Owl, Bard Owl, Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, Burrowing Owl, and Eastern Screech-Owls in the wild. I have seen the Tawny Owl and Eurasian Eagle-owl in captivity.