The Owl

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A few birders have asked about the Great Horned Owl at the Stroud Preserve and if the nest site was at a location that could accommodate visitors without disturbing the owl and the nest site. 

The answer is yes, the nest is in an old Red-tailed's nest  high in a group of trees. To actually see the owl you must stand about 250 meters away. You can easily see the owl with you binoculars, but a scope offers some outstanding views. 

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The trails around the preserve are heavily utilized by dog walkers and joggers. Or, as is often the case, dog joggers. Birders are one of the smallest user groups for the preserve. I took my family and neighbors out to see the nest this past weekend. It was not the first owl that my kids have seen. Back in Washington State, I took them to see a group of 4 Snowy Owls or "Hedwigs" (Harry Potters mail owl for those of you who have been living in a cave the past 15 years) that were out on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles WA. They were ultimately disappointed because the Snowy Owls were not carrying any mail! Some kids are just hard to impress. 

To get to the nest, park in the parking lot off Creek Road. Walk in on the road that crosses the bridge over the Brandywine River. When the road forks, go to the right towards the barn, following the "Red Trail." Go past the bed for the old farm pond and keep walking (towards the high tension power lines). as you pass the farm pond and look towards the bank of trees just beyond the power lines, you will see the nest (photo above). It stands out like a sore thumb. Walk up to where the "Yellow Trail" goes to the left. Find a good view point on the trail there. 

If you go, enjoy your walk and let me know if you see anything good!