The screech owls are back. Each spring a nesting pair returns to the tree-of-heaven in our backyard. We have the perfect knothole where the owls can blend in with the bark and hide their babies. We sneak back behind our fence to watch them often, and I love the haunting trill sounds (which is nothing like a screech, btw). Photographers and birdwatchers gather in the parking lot behind our house to witness this amazing feature of God's creation. Tonight I was checking out the flowers in the backyard and was surprised to find one of the owls in our little mulberry tree. I quickly called the family and grabbed my camera. We've never been so close the owls before.
Here is the mate in the tree-of-heaven. Note how well it blends in with the bark.
For some reason the flash gave the owl the "red-eye" effect, giving the owl an eerie look.