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The Owl On Maidford River Road

Middletown resident Karen Johnson captured close range photos of an owl on Tuesday night. She would like to know more about this mysterious bird.

Around 9:00 Tuesday night, Karen Johnson's neighbor called to tell her that an owl just flew into a tree on Maidford River Road. 

"I ran out with my super duper flashlight, forgot the camera, had to run back to the house and grab the camera thinking the whole time, what the heck will I do if it flies out at me," Johnson wrote in an email.   "But as in the comic books, professionalism overcame the scared part of me and ... voila."

Johnson said the owl brought back memories of a little Italian gardener and his wife, who took care of the grounds on an estate in Pennsylvania, where her aunt lived and worked.  

The little Italian gardener and his wife feared the owls were bad luck. 

"They were scared of owls and as soon as you heard one, you could be guaranteed to look out the window and see their lights on and then, see them trudging down to the train station to go into the city for the night." 

Johnson said she thought her owl was a Barred Owl, which she read is the only large eastern owl and is about 21 inches long. 

However, she is unsure and would like to learn more about this owl. What can you tell us about her owl on Maidford River Road?  

Don Medeiros January 30, 2013 at 01:43 PM
That is indeed a Barred Owl.Its mating season so this one is looking for love!
Daft January 30, 2013 at 02:08 PM
No wonder I was drawn to it! He came to the right neighborhood :) Thanks for your response Don.
Kim Botelho January 30, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Yes, she is correct. That is a barred owl. However, we do have other large owls in RI including the Great Horned Owl, Snowy Owl, Barn Owl and rare sightings of the Great Gray Owl which can grow up to 33 inches. Please let us know if you have any other questions about owls! Kim Botelho Director of Education Norman Bird Sanctuary 846-2577 ext. 15
Cris Offenberg January 30, 2013 at 05:35 PM
We have seen both Barred Owl and Great HOrned Owl on our property at corner of Wapping and Riverview - Cris.
Chris Christensen January 30, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Good thing they don't howl or someone would be writing up another Ordinance when they start to notice that mice, rats and rabbits seem to be disappearing and that cannot be blamed on the coyotes because...after all we wrote an Ordinance about feeding them and they all left and walked over to Tiverton on the new bridge.
Rhody Reader January 31, 2013 at 03:18 PM
You can learn more about your barred owl here: http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Strix&species=varia Listen for its call "Who cooks for you?"
Diane St John February 01, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Great photos! How exciting to see an owl this close!

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