A young barred owl went on quite a journey early last month. And as luck would have it, photographer and neighbor David Cohen was there to capture it all with his camera. He posted the story of this plucky little owl on Instagram (@davidcohenphotodc) and gave us permission to share with you.
Click the arrow on the image to see the sequence of ten photos, or click anywhere in the image to view on Instagram.
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Up. Down. Across. Up. This is the story of a barred owl owlet odyssey.
On the evening of Sunday, May 3, 2020, the first of three owlets fledges from its nest in Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC. I arrive on Monday morning as it teeters high above the forest floor.
Then the owlet falls. Its talons grab leaves and twigs. Its wings flail.
On the forest floor, the owlet faces risks. Where will it go? How will it back off intruders? It makes its way to shelter between the roots of a giant tree.
Then it begins its climb. Talons, beak, and wings all aim upward.
At last, the owlet reaches the canopy, back where it belongs.
That two-hour odyssey leaves me exhilarated and exhausted. Think what it does to the owlet.
Text and photos © David Jonathan Cohen 2020.
With thanks to Seth Horstmeyer, who first pointed out the nest to me. I saw him with his camera, and he saw me with mine! He’s a marvelous wildlife photographer and videographer on Instagram @horstmeyerseth.