Deep in the old growth forest of the Schmitz Preserve Park I could hear a Stellar Jay squawking his little heart out. They are a noisy bird on an ordinary day but he seemed rather agitated.
This Park is on the hill above Alki Beach. It is a ravine of tall trees and a creek flowing naturally through the woods. It is was donated to the city around 1910 and contains some of the oldest trees standing in the city of Seattle. On my way back to my car I took a picture looking out over Puget Sound. The trees on the left of this picture is the edge of the park.
Back to the Owl and the Jay. I was up in the ravine when I heard the Jay making his ruckus. I found a small trail into the area he was bouncing around in order to see what he was up to. He was going from tree to tree with a Northern Flicker joining into the dance and song. I was beginning to think they were tormenting each other when there was a whoosh of air as a large bird flew into a tree overhead. It was a barred owl.
I have seen Crows mob an owl before but never a Jay – Flicker combo. The Jay was relentless, he kept after the owl. He forced the Owl to fly up into a maple tree where I got this fuzzy shot. Remember “the Death of a Camera” post. Well I still don’t have a replacement for my Kodak that had a good zoom so I was left with my small point and shoot Canon.
The park has an interesting feature besides the forest. That is a bridge that cuts over the top of the park ravine carrying Admiral Way to Alki beach. It has been a site of some beautifully done graffiti. Before I went up the trails I walked down below the bridge to check out the art work. I was disappointed to see that what was left is a bunch of bad tags. So, instead of getting photos of that I took a few of the bridge looming in the forest.
Enjoy the 1936 art deco structure that is in the green.
Why were they attacking the owl?
Natural enemies over their babies. Only way I have ever found owls is by watching for tie mobbing behavior.