This week on the nature connection mentoring call series I participate on we were challenged to imagine ourselves as a particular animal that we have good reason to believe is around but rarely (if ever) actually see. See/feel in our minds what we are doing as that animal in the process of its daily routines. Over the course of the week while we are doing this, we are also encouraged to spend some time out and about – perhaps looking for the animal we are working on. Next week we will report on anything of interest that happens.
It is my intention to work on getting into the mind of the owl as best I can. I’ve only once seen a resident owl in daylight despite the fact that I know they are around. There have been several recent reports (including one Northern Saw-whet, a species I’ve never seen). There’s a decent chance that a Great Horned Owl or two is in the area, but reports of this species in Sitka are few and far between.
One of the ideas of this exercise is that by using my imagination as fully as possible to ‘think like an owl’ (so to speak) I am primed to observe the owls that I might already be crossing paths with, owls which I would ordinarily walk right by. It also may happen by having that mindset, I’ll be more likely to wander by places where an owl is more likely to be, and so have a greater chance of observing one for that reason.
In the end, I don’t really have much in the way of expectations about this exercise. I’ve certainly heard stories of interesting/strange occurrences when others have done similar things, and I think it would be fun if something like that occurred with me. While I’ll try to remain open to the possibility of such things happening, I don’t necessarily think anything like that will happen – and certainly not over the next week. Regardless of the outcome as far as my observation of owls is concerned, I think it will be an interesting process. In any case, I could hardly do worse than I’ve done so far as a birder, with only two daylight owls in 8+ years of birding (one a visiting Snowy Owl in 2006, the other a Western Screech-Owl a couple of weeks ago).