We are calling it Owl Watch 2009. Hoping that we have the right equipment to spot our owl, take a quick photo... and perhaps celebrate. Because it has been a long time coming...
You know there is a story, right? Although this is the first time our "owl watch" has an official name, we have been watching and waiting for two years. After a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, our friend John, with plans in hand, decided to build a screech owl house. Okay... he decided that the boys in our Cub Scout den would each build a screech owl house. He carefully cut the wood, and instructed the boys. With some extra house paint, the houses were looking sunny and sturdy. John hung his house in the backyard, before the paint was even dry. And he waited. After a few weeks, the light-hearted teasing began, because he was sure that a screech owl would have seen this brand new house and moved right in... what was taking so long? A few more weeks passed, and my friend Jenn (John's wife) came home with bad news. She had been to the zoo with the kids... and through talking to one of the keepers, found out that the paint on the house was mostly likely keeping the owls away. And that is when the light-hearted teasing stopped, and the fun really began. During our visits to their home, there would inevitably be fake screech owl calls, shout of I think I saw one!, and even owl sightings on the house itself... of course those owls were filled with fluff instead of covered with feathers. John has always been a good sport... and has even gotten in on the fun, himself. Last year they actually had birds in the house... but certainly not owls.
Last Tuesday night though... they think they really and truly spotted a screech owl. In the yellow house. They saw the eyes. They heard the screech. And now we are waiting. We have the chairs lined up across the deck, and we sit silently and wait. Never have our visits been so restrained.
As of today, two days after the initial sighting, John is getting impatient. He took the ladder out back and carefully peered into the house. Yep... there is something there. Perhaps tonight will be the night we see the screech owl... and the teasing will come to an end.