My birthday was not long ago (happy birthday to me!), and I had a very unique birthday surprise. As I was walking through the town square, there were 5 local "townies" looking up into the large, 300-year-old elm tree that grows there next to the town church.
Now, the old ulmus minor is a tourist attraction itself, partly because it is so large, and partly because the base is hollow and children love hiding inside. Many a family photo is taken there, especially when it is First Communion season (we've had several taken there ourselves). But, when the locals start taking a second glance, you know something is up...
And, up they were! Waaaaaay up, some 40 feet in the air, were a pair of tawny owls (Strix aluco), fast asleep.
It's amazing how much their feathers look like tree bark.
Doesn't he just look perfectly blissful?
Later on, just before dusk, I went by again to see if they had awaken. Sure enough, they had.
By the way, what looks to be a tree trunk to the bottom left of this photo is actually the abdomen of the other owl!
If you would like to check out our town's ancient field elm tree, I found a video about it on YouTube made by a British tourist. Funny. The video shows it in the winter with no leaves and after a recent pruning, but you can see how hollow it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNr0BK4IgbI
You might also like my post from earlier this year about Little Owls, Whoooo Me?
Any owls or ancient trees in your neck of the woods?