|Eleanor hasn't been seen
in our neighborhood since April 2008. The good news is, she or another
Barred Owl has recently
been spotted across town. There are photos of that individual here.
It could be her! We're holding out hope that she may come
back someday to resume her reign
over our historic neighborhood. An owl pair returns to
home territory to nest, and a Barred Owl's range is only a square mile
or two, so we do hope to see her again.
As the first Barred Owl ever documented in Medford, Oregon, Eleanor, likely a juvenile, caused quite a stir among local birders and nature photographers.
She left once before, presumably to find a male owl (Barred or Northern Spotted), and to our delight reappeared two weeks later, albeit solo. Once Barred Owls find a mate, it's for life.
Our family first noticed Eleanor in the summer of 2007.
In December of that year, I discovered her perch in the large deciduous tree in our front yard. She graced us with her presence all day, every day, snoozing in the same spot over the end of the driveway. She flew off for her nightly hunt just before dark.
We documented her evening flight times and other behaviors, and the John Muir School in Ashland undertook a study to dissect her pellets and learn exactly what a Rogue Valley Barred Owl in an urban setting eats.
What is the term for a group of owls? Click here
Photo by Elizabeth von Radics