by Bryce W. Robinson
Of any bird, the Barn Owl carries the most mysticism in its ghostly glare. As it flies through the air, it resemble a specter floating through the sky hunting for what it desires. Its mystic nature is also matched with an elegant aura of regality. This creature is certainly stunning.
The last time I met the gaze of the Barn Owl was along the Jordan River, in a grove of tall cottonwoods. I was birding a series of shallow ponds, seeing a number of Avocets, Killdeer, Mallards, and many other typical wetland inhabitants. As I stalked a group of Avocets, I made my way around the base of a large tree. With my senses tuned to the slightest movement, it still seemed spectacular that I noticed a large figure silently take to the sky directly above my head. I was ecstatic as I watched the retreat of a Barn Owl into a cottonwood grove some 50 yards away. I could not see where the bird had settled, so I scanned the trees in hopes of discovering the timid owl. Through the lens of my binoculars, my eyes came to a deep and dark marbled glare. The bird, hidden in the trees, far from me, was still watching my movement. This predator knew my intentions, and was certain to watch until I had gone. What an intelligent creature. After minutes in a lockdown stare, I continued about my business to leave the owl in peace. How I respect Tyto alba, the Barn Owl.