Who, Who Cooks for You?

A Pair of Forest Park Barred Owls

If your name happens to be Anne, then that would be me. We walked in the park yesterday. First, parking nearby and then traipsing across Skinker and then the golf course. Golfers have begun slinking back onto the course. Technically, its illegal for them to be doing so, but then so is traipsing. We end up glaring at each other, all to no avail. Otherwise the park was pretty empty. After the golf course and the art museum, we headed uphill on Government Avenue and into Kennedy Forest, the forested part of Forest Park.

On the way though, we noticed zoo security relentlessly patrolling the zoo’s north parking lot. On such a fine day, this is normally a fulltime job, but with the zoo being closed, there were only about ten vehicles in the lot and almost surely one of them was the security guard’s. I can only guess that he spends all day driving aimlessly around an empty parking lot, only to log enough miles to prove that he didn’t just sleep his shift away and hopefully save his job. Seems like a forlorn hope to me, but what else are you going to do?

It is eerily quite in the park. In this portion, there is no vehicle traffic allowed. We stick to the road, because there are other people about and this allows the maneuvering room to ensure a social distance. We began hearing the tell-tale call of the Barred owl that is best described using the meme, “Who, who cooks for you?” Last week, we had heard from another birder that there was a Barred owl about. On this day, we kept hearing the call and decided to investigate. As we approached, it became apparent that there was not one owl but two. Anne was the first one to see and flush one, but I was first to spy these two together.

There has been chatter that since the quarantine, wildlife has come out from the bushes and is reasserting itself. Maybe. I’m sure that the owls would have been there pandemic or no. What made their discovery possible was the new found quiet. Normally, this road hosts lots of zoo traffic and that noise would have obscured their calls that led to their detection. Anyway, the twin goal of this expedition were both obtained. We got our steps in and our nature fix, big time.

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