Screech Owl in Apple Tree
(scroll down for description)
2001, gouache, 10 1/8” x 12”
for the Bruce Trail calendar
As a boy I spent many a day in winter and early spring looking for owls. There was an old orchard we normally visited to check the holes in the trees for owls. Since we didn’t mark them we had to hunt for the holes each year. On one occasion we could have sworn that there was a hole but we couldn’t find it. We went away and came back again for a second check when we realized we were looking right at it but the owl’s head was filling the cavity.

When basking in the daytime owls often almost close their eyes partly to sleep but also for camouflage. Small birds are attracted to owls’ eyes and would mob and pester them. Our screech owl was quite confident that he blended perfectly with the tree. And he did.