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This morning, while walking my lab, I had the good fortune to see two great
horned owls.  While walking through Penguin Park (KC MO, north of the river),
I heard a flock of crows screaming and all het up about something in the
residential neighborhood just west of the park.  Their cawing was a bit more
vociferous than when they've come across a red-tail or some other hawk, so I
figured they probably were harassing an owl.  (There has been at least one
owl in the park since October, and I had seen him at dusk yesterday evening.)

I saw the flock of crows on 49th Terr and made my way to them as quickly as
possible.  I was not surprised when I saw a great horned sitting in the tree.
 I stood on the sidewalk with my dog and stared up at the owl.  The owl
looked down at me but didn't seem too overly concerned about me.  After a
couple of minutes viewing the owl, another great horned came flying in and
landed in the tree next to the first owl, followed by another noisy murder of
crows consisting of over a dozen birds.  The second owl stayed there for
about three minutes.  He sat facing the other owl and twice made soft
plaintive hooting calls.  He looked down at me a couple of times and then
took off, followed by the crows.  One crow remained behind in the tree with
the first owl.

I stood on the sidewalk for 20 minutes watching the first owl.  The owl
looked at me several times but never seemed bothered by my presence.  Five or
six crows eventually came back to the first owl and would come and go from
the tree, but at least one crow would always remain near the owl.

It was a great thing to see and a real treat to view the owls so closely.  I
only wish I'd had a pair of binoculars with me.

Steven Cain
Kansas City

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