--Bryon Kavanagh Lansing, MI
I’m glad you had a camera. You’ve captured a very nice picture of a Barred Owl (Strix varia). This owl resides all over the entire state of Michigan, but its numbers are declining in the Lower Peninsula due to destruction of deciduous woodlands.
The Barred Owl has big beautiful brown eyes instead of the usual yellow eyes common in other owl species. They have horizontal barring around the neck and upper breast and vertical stripes below.
You may recognize their call. It's a resounding "hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo", often phrased as "Who, cooks, for-you Who, cooks, for-you, all" with the last syllable dropping off noticeably.
The birds usually hunt at night for smaller animals like voles, mice, and shrews. A bird seen during the day may be looking for extra food for babies.
After digesting their most recent meal, owls will form a pellet of the undigested remains of their prey and regurgitate it. Made up primarily of fur, feathers and bones, it is egested approximately 13-16 hours after eating.
So when you’re mushroom hunting keep an eye open for owl pellets. They are found in different locations, depending on the species but in general, it’s near their nesting sites.
You can also go to http://www.wbu.com/feedercam_home.html to watch the Wild Birds Unlimited owl box cam. Thanks for writing.
Yes I figured it was out hunting for young because I know owls are primarily nocturnal, later we found the nest w chicks a few 100 meters away. Here are some pics. This was near Kalkaska/Grayling area.
Wow, thanks for the update! They are just too cute. I'm glad you shared your photos.