“Predator vs. Prey”

We have a window in our office that overlooks our side yard.  This past Friday, I was sitting with my hubby and talking, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement in the tops of the trees.  This caused me to stop and watch.  The movement ceased, but only for a moment, then I saw what appeared to be a large bird land on a thicker branch, and take rest, watching something.

I was already amazed with the size of the bird, but I was more amazed at what I was about to witness.  The bird was in the midst, of hunting for its lunch.  It was after a squirrel!  We have several squirrels running around our place, one of them has a bobbed-tail.  This squirrel the bird was hunting had a bobbed-tail, we noticed when it stopped scurrying up a tree for a brief moment, but I don’t know if the bird had done that when it made the initial downward ‘swoop’ towards its prey, or if it was our ‘bob’.  No matter, me and hubby stood watching from our window.

After two or three more downward swoops towards the squirrel, the bird took rest on a limb high in a tree on the opposite side of our side yard.  What I thought was just some large bird, because of its wingspan, was a barn owl!  Conveniently, we keep my grandfather’s binoculars on our bookshelf as sort of a stand-in bookend.  Hubby grabbed those, and I focused in on a closer look at the barn owl.

I admit, the only owls I’ve seen in my lifetime, are those that are in captivity at zoos.  So, recognizing one in nature was a breathtaking experience for me.  It was so gorgeous!  With a white face and beady black eyes, it was like it was looking directly at me while I was looking directly at it through my binoculars.

I handed them to my hubby, so he could have a better look, he did, and he saw the owl take its final ‘swoop’ towards the squirrel through the binoculars.  How cool!  The owl must have gotten the squirrel because all activity in the trees ceased to exist after that.

I’ve never witnessed ‘predator vs. prey’ other than watching National Geographic, Animal Planet, or the Discovery Channel.  It’s even more exhilarating to watch it happen in person!

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