NFR "Annie" the Owl, rises from the ashes again, with a twist

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by riseform, May 19, 2014.

  1. riseform

    riseform Active Member

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    Last April (2013) I posted a thread about a juvenile owl I had seen with my daughter in August 2012, two days before the Taylor Bridge fire broke out in Cle Elum. It was a peculiar owl with a dilated left pupil (anisocoria) that we nicknamed "Annie".

    [​IMG]

    Between the fire and the eye anomaly, I never knew if the owl had survived until the blown pupil allowed us to recognize her on a hike that April (2013), which I reported here:

    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/annie-the-owl-is-growing-up.88258/

    We intermittently spotted Annie for several months until I stumbled upon these remains in August:
    [​IMG]

    We were pretty sure Annie was dead and I did not see another owl the rest of the Summer or Fall. This winter, I heard the occasional hoot and saw several owls in the area but with snow on the ground I could never approach one with adequate stealth for a good look or picture.

    This weekend, my daughter spotted an owl on the same looping branch that we first saw Annie almost two years ago. We grabbed a camera and a few shots of this good looking owl.

    [​IMG]

    To our surprise, the owl my children and I were certain had been killed or died last summer is still alive, blown pupil and all.

    [​IMG]

    My daughter (and I'll admit I) was overjoyed as we reported our findings back to the family. The following afternoon on another hike, we came upon Annie in another area of the woods, snapping a few photos before she flew off. We didn't follow.

    [​IMG]

    Later that afternoon, we took another hike with a general heading toward the area where Annie had last flown. As we approached a downward sloping hillside, I was struck by an odd texture adherent to the side of a tree. I thought little of it and kept talking to my daughter about whatever subject we were on. Stepping to take a closer look, I realized we were probably looking at a dead bird slumped over a branch. Two steps closer, it raised its head and gave us a stare.

    [​IMG]

    We exchanged awkward glances and stepped back from the baby owl. As we retreated, Annie took flight from a nearby tree and landed just out of sight. It would appear Annie has not only survived, but is now raising a family.

    We made one more trek to the area before having to head back to the reality of the west side, finding the young owl in a normal upright position. I would have loved to remain and presumably watch Annie bring it food as darkness approached, but we didn't have that luxury. No blown pupil in this owl, but the identifying feature of its presumed parent has been a joy to follow.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    What a HOOT!........ great story, thanks for sharing it. You can sure see "Annie" maturing in those photos. As always it's a life or death struggle.

    LB
     
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  3. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

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    I tried staring Annie down, though I blinked first. Sheesh, your powers of observation are outstanding, I've seen a wild owl once, and to think you came across two live and one dead. Are there any tips you have for seeing owls?
     
  4. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    Very cool, and great photos as well, Doc!
     
  5. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    That is so neat! I love native wildlife. Whenever I hear the sound of a Killdeer, it reminds me of when I fish the Sacramento River. Wildlife and Fish are the peanut butter and jelly!
     
  6. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing that & the pix.
     
  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Love to see a great outcome.
     
  8. smc

    smc Active Member

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    Nice! Great story and pics. Found this one sitting on our mailbox post one evening last winter.

    owl.jpg
     
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  9. GATOR9

    GATOR9 Hey you guys

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    What a neat experience to be shared with your family and us readers. :)
     
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  10. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    We had two great horned owls hanging out in the trees behind our house last summer. I tried to get pics, but none came out. They stood over three feet tall!
     
  11. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    This is like a Disney movie.
    Keep your eyes peeled for the Great Prince of the Forest, rumored to be Bambi's father.

    TC
     
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  12. rory

    rory Go Outside

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    That is a great story. Those pictures are amazing!
     
  13. riseform

    riseform Active Member

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    I think it is mostly luck on a particular day. We've walked those same woods many times and not seen owls. I liken it to casting to suitable spots for a 24" brown trout. Cast enough times and one day it'll actually be there.
     
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  14. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    Way cool Rise.
     
  15. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    Are there any tips you have for seeing owls?( Quote)
    I think if you want to see owls or any wildlife for that matter, a person needs to stop and look around once in a while ,up in the trees and such. Instead of walking briskly through the wood in a hurry to get to some destination down the trail. you will see a lot more of mother natures marvels if you slow the pace down a bit
     
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  16. Ron McNeal

    Ron McNeal Life's good!

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    Really nicely-told tale and great photos. Thanks.
     
  17. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I have a bad back and every so often I will just lay down wherever I was fishing at. I was on the N/F of the Stilly one year and my back was killing me, so I laid down on the rocks. I looked up into the trees and saw the biggest Eagle I have ever seen. It was sitting in a tree about 20 feet from where I was at.

    On another note. My laying down because of my back scared a few fellow fly fishers that I used to fish with. One thought I had a heart attack and another thought I had died. So when I used to lay down I would wiggle my rod around to show I was still awake and live.
    Now I just go sit in my truck.
     

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