Date: 10/21/19 7:01 am
From: Richard Candler <candler86...>
Subject: [GABO-L] BARN OWL Coweta County
The other day I took my 11 month old down to our barn to play. The floor is concrete (perfect for sidewalk chalk) and there are plenty of snake-infested scrap wood piles and trailers and other equipment to climb on. At some point I looked up and noticed he had a little brown thing in his hand. Fortunately I rescued it before it reached his mouth and discovered that it was an owl pellet, still somewhat juicy and with fur and bones protruding from it. (This kid’s going to have a robust immune system. Either that or bird flu.) Needless to say I was elated and completely forgot about my son for the moment and stared looking around the rafters.

This had happened once before. A few years ago I had noticed pellets starting to show up. My uncle and I got out a trail camera and set it up in the rafters of the barn 20 feet above the floor. After a few days we got a picture of a Barn Owl! I went out one night and heard it hunting along the edges of the field and occasionally screaming. I went out one evening and actually saw it hunched in rafters of one corner of the barn. I even built a box for it.

That bird only stayed for a week or so before moving on. Starlings have enjoyed the box ever since. But the other day when I climbed up to check in the box after seeing the most recent pellet I found a pellet on top of the box! Two days ago I installed another trail camera and when I checked my photos this morning I was rewarded with some pictures of a BARN OWL! Last night from about 9 to midnight the owl came and went according to the time stamped photos. On the floor I also found some fresh entrails from some poor rodent and more poop.

Very exciting but I doubt it will stick around. My neighbors have several old barns and a small grain silo. But sadly most of the farmland and grassland habitat is gone from this part of the county. I will keep you all posted on the owl and report anything interesting. Unfortunately I can’t attach a photo of it here and eBird doesn’t like data from remote cameras so I can’t link to a checklist either.

Richard Candler
Sharpsburg
Coweta County
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