Back Yard Barred Owl -or- Why We Live in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is an amazing place to live for so many reasons:  the food scene, the forward-thinking development, the great public transportation  but for me, our home is the reason we have firmly planted roots here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our house backs into the Marquam Green Space which is tangential to Forest Park, the largest in-city park in the United States.  If you can figure the maps, it’s possible to walk out our back door and join up with the Pacific Crest Trail.   The other great part is that literally steps, (with a little bush-whacking), from our back yard is the newly developed 4-T TrailTrail, Tram, Trolly, Train.  If you are a resident or visitor, this is one great urban hike and a fantastic way to tour the city for under 5 bucks.  Last year we began the process of becoming certified for Backyard Habitat, a joint program between the Audubon Society and the Columbia Land trust.  This program acts as a guide in transforming your property to a haven for urban flora and fauna.  Since our property butts up against the Marquam Green Space, it made sense to get on board.  We’ve removed the bulk of invasive plants and re-planted our back yard with native plant species.  Now the battle with bindweed, holly and ivy begins!  The great part is that we’ve already noticed an increase in the wildlife that visits us, including this Barred Owl who spent a good deal of time on a branch about 5 feet from my office window.  You can hear us whispering to the owl as it sits nearby…

Here is how difficult it was to photograph the owl 🙂

Wildlife photographer, in action!

In addition to the Barred Owls, we have regular avian visitors.  Tonight, while sitting outside having dinner, I noted the following species: Black-Headed Grosbeak, Spotted Towhee, Rufous Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Black Capped Chickadee, Steller’s Jay, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Lesser Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Band-tailed Pigeon, House Finch, Red Shafted Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, and to top it off, a mother/son pair of Hairy Woodpeckers.  Below is our regular summer set-up for dinner.  Bon appétit!

summer backyard dining
a steller’s jay joins us for supper

The video was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS USM L series lens and edited in iMovie.  The stills were shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 24-105 IS USM L series lens and edited in Adobe’s Lightroom software.

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