News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Wildlife alert: Owls in Maple Leaf!

April 9th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Barred Owl photo courtesy Dennis Paulson

Simone Lupson-Cook, who grew up in Maple Leaf, this week heard an owl in her backyard for the first time ever. Lupson-Cook  is a falconer who, with a collection of associates, also posts at WingTrip.

Here’s her owl report:

Early Monday I awoke to both of my dogs barking at 4:30 a.m. I ignored them and tried to go back to sleep. Soon my mom came in and yelled, waking me up: “There’s a ‘Who Cooks for Me?!’ owl in the backyard!!”

I jumped out of bed and we both went upstairs. Our yard, as are the neighbors’, is filled with Doug fir, hemlock and cedars. Soon the owl began to call. “Who Cooks for Me!? Who Cooks for Youuuu?!”

It was a Barred Owl! We have lived in this house for 23 years and always wondered about owls but this is the first time we have heard one. You can learn more about them AND listen to their call here. Be sure to listen – perhaps you have heard one without even knowing it!

The owl continued for about 5-10 more minutes but the robins had already started singing so dawn was just around the corner. Shortly after I e-mailed a couple of neighbors and one neighbor about eight blocks away reported that he too heard a Barred Owl that night and early morning but not at 4 a.m. like we had. Could it be the same owl? He had been hearing an owl for about 10 days and has heard Barred Owls off and on near the ravine (Thornton Creek) by his house for about 10 years.

Has anyone else heard Barred Owls in the Maple Leaf neighborhood? They are quite well adapted to urban environments as long as they have a bit of a greenbelt nearby it seems. However, our neighborhood is not prime territory because of a lack of nesting spots (and probably prey) but apparently they are making a living here at least part of the year.

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