Earlier today Kim asked me to be sure to pick up the newspaper on my way back from the grocery store. Imagine my utter shock to pull up to the orange Eau Claire Leader telegram chute to find this feathery little character blocking the entrance! My first thought after I regained my wits was "Holy shit! I never have my camera when I really need it!" Then i remembered that it was sitting right next to me in the car so I started taking pictures of the little guy. to my total amazement, he didn't make a move to escape, but continued to stay inside the tube and out of the wind.
Later in the day, just before I left for my saturday night gig near Merrill, I took two DVD's back and as i went by the news chute I figured the nester would be gone -- but he was still there! I was able to take some more photos.
When I left for the road trip he was STILL there and i began to wrooy that thee might be something physically wrong with him so I called Kim on the cell phone and had her contact Patty Stangel who works for White Pines Rehabilitation Center.
Later on, as I was nearing Club 64 to set up my gear, I got a call from Kim saying that she had gone down the driveway to meet with Patty and that Patty approached the owl carefully to find that he wasn't hurt in any way -- but made angry little sounds at being bothered by these human beings and then flew off.
I sent the picture to my brother Bob who is as "birder" and he said it is highly unusual to even get a look at one of these little guys as they are quite reclusive, preferring the secrecy of pine groves. He also told me that this is more than likely a male who has returned from migration early. They don't usually make their Wisconsin appearance until mid-March.
What a cool happening! I think I will send this pictue in to the Eau Claire Telegram! I think it is worth publishing.