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Old 11-02-2012, 02:51 AM   #1
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Barred Owl hunting at our pond

Was out in the sunroom around 5pm getting ready to feed the cats and saw something big swoop in close to the door and land on the closed table umbrella on the patio. Low and behold it was a Barred Owl which I've never seen in a surburban area (although we live a couple miles from where the Missosuri and Mississippi rivers converge). Thing is I know they can and will hunt fish. We have a big 3 foot deep pond that is build right up to the sunroom wall which houses the koi. Then back in the yard further is a stream that flows into a smaller 20" deep pond. In that pond there are a small number of 6 year old orando-long finned comet crosses we accidently bred. That owl would sit in one of the small trees or on something where it could see into the pond and kept flying down right to the pond and standing there for 10-15 minutes at a time. I finally had to feed the dogs and let them out which made it fly away. BUT I wonder if its going to come back and hunt tonight!?! I hope not! We did put some netting over the shallow part of the big front pond but the little pond is open (although it's saving grace may be the leaves providing cover). So as I sit and type I wonder if we have a hunter in our yard enjoying a fish dinner.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Well, its cool that you have the owl, perhaps not so cool that it might make a meal out of your expensive pond fish! Many years ago I had a group of students at a local pond and we watched an Osprey take two goldfish (both over 12") out of the pond in about a 20 minute time period. I'd definitely think about getting some netting for over the rest of your ponds space.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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Very interesting! I wouldn't be surprised if In that area you ever had other birds of prey stalking your pond either though.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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Well, its cool that you have the owl, perhaps not so cool that it might make a meal out of your expensive pond fish! Many years ago I had a group of students at a local pond and we watched an Osprey take two goldfish (both over 12") out of the pond in about a 20 minute time period. I'd definitely think about getting some netting for over the rest of your ponds space.
We actually use to have frames for autumn/winter that had netting attached but when we enlarged the one pond and added that stream the big front pond was too big and odd shaped to net. It sits up to most of the sunroom wall and they juts out like an arm so when you go out the door on the pond side you have a little area to step out and stand before you have to cross over the big rock bridge which goes over the shallower, narrow part of the pond. Its about 22 feet long and 16ish feet wide at the widest but there is also a water fall with a very small pond area that falls into the lower big pond. We've tried to figure out how to do it but with the shape and height difference we are stumped. We did cover the one place it could land on in the shallow part of the big pond and "rigged" our skimmer nets and fish nets so it would have a hard time getting in the shallow water.

We are going to have to figure out the small pond issue tho, thats for sure! And as far as we can tell there was no fish dinner last night! Yeah! I want the owl to eat, just not our fish.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Very interesting! I wouldn't be surprised if In that area you ever had other birds of prey stalking your pond either though.
Since we have the ponds and stream and a huge area (3/4 of the yard) fenced off from the rest of the yard and have it completely landscaped with no grass, just dogwoods and purple leaf red bud (can't think of the name), then some bushes, and alot of perennials (especially hostas) it's very woodland like. And add the fact we are so close to the wetlands of both rivers we get all kinds of migratory birds that most people never see. That huge fenced area is also our turtle rehab pen. My youngest adult daughter has a Fish and Wildlife breeding/rehab permit for box turtles so it's pretty cool to be able to hang out in our own yard and enjoy all the wildlife. The only hunters we've ever had in the ponds were an occassional racoon. But there is a woman down the road who actually feeds the coons (not a good thing to do) so it has kept them away from here for a few years now.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Since we have the ponds and stream and a huge area (3/4 of the yard) fenced off from the rest of the yard and have it completely landscaped with no grass, just dogwoods and purple leaf red bud (can't think of the name), then some bushes, and alot of perennials (especially hostas) it's very woodland like. And add the fact we are so close to the wetlands of both rivers we get all kinds of migratory birds that most people never see. That huge fenced area is also our turtle rehab pen. My youngest adult daughter has a Fish and Wildlife breeding/rehab permit for box turtles so it's pretty cool to be able to hang out in our own yard and enjoy all the wildlife. The only hunters we've ever had in the ponds were an occassional racoon. But there is a woman down the road who actually feeds the coons (not a good thing to do) so it has kept them away from here for a few years now.
Interesting also. Under what circumstances do you take in rescue turtles?
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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Mostly now vets call. You'd be amazed how many people pick up box turtles in our state, much less illegally pick up and bring other types of box turtle from out of state and find they can't take care of them. Then they take them to the vet asking if someone can take them. They come with messed up shells, vit/min deficiencies, overgrown beaks and nails. And the problem is even after you get them back to health you can't just release them unless you know exactly where they were picked up from. That is why we have such a large fancy pen... they come and live out their lives. At least with water turtles, you can fix em up and release them as they have always been local turtles. She's a vet tech so she can handle just about anything.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Interesting also. Under what circumstances do you take in rescue turtles?
Oh wanted to tell you a quick true story. Got a call from the vet and asked if we could pick up a 3 toe box turtle. So we get out there and he proceeds to tell how these people thought it would be so cool to bring a box turtle home they found and apparently they had this little yappy terrier at home who wouldn't leave the turtle alone. The turtle I guess got enough of the dog and proceeded to clamp onto his leg and wouldn't let go! They had to come to the vet, with the turtle still attached to the dogs leg. Doc was laughing his backside off. So they removed the turtle and asked the people if they wanted thier turtle back.... well you can imagine they didn't want it, it wasn't as cool as they thought it would be. Plus doggie got 1 staple to hold his turtle wound closed.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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That's crazy! Yeah I had the ingenious idea out near potosi that I 'had' to rescue this turtle (tortoise?) from sunbathing in the middle of the highway- stupidest thing I've ever done. 8 1/2 months pregnant I was going to let it go in the woods away from the highway... **** thing peed all over and once my dumb*** self coaxed it out of its shell all it did was try to attack me, I had to hold it while driving a very windy highway and attempting not to kill either of us or have my fingers ripped off. I stopped as soon as I knew I could safely and released it. Needless to say I don't think I'll take a turtle off the highway again...
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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That's crazy! Yeah I had the ingenious idea out near potosi that I 'had' to rescue this turtle (tortoise?) from sunbathing in the middle of the highway- stupidest thing I've ever done. 8 1/2 months pregnant I was going to let it go in the woods away from the highway... **** thing peed all over and once my dumb*** self coaxed it out of its shell all it did was try to attack me, I had to hold it while driving a very windy highway and attempting not to kill either of us or have my fingers ripped off. I stopped as soon as I knew I could safely and released it. Needless to say I don't think I'll take a turtle off the highway again...
Not laughing... much! That is a turtles defense mechinism, snakes, frogs, toads, and lizards do it to. We only have box turtles here. Usually you see males crossing the road, sometimes their territory is on both sides and alot of times it's younger males looking for a territory. I've very familar with Potosi and the roads. You should try working on one or better yet, gettting deworming medicine in one, then it doesn't want to open it's mouth! But I love em and her project has turned into mine too.
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