Taking a phone call for work on the couch by the large back windows of the Lodge and I caught a swoop through the underbrush and onto a low tree branch.
I fully expected this to be one of our hawks, as we have a few that fly through the dense deciduous forest silently and perch, wait, and swoop off again.
The only problem was that when it perched, came to a stop, and turned its head, it was clearly an owl, and a large one at that!
It stayed long enough for me to yell out through the house to "come quick!" and see the owl, and luckily the colleague on the phone was indulgent enough to allow me to drop our conversation for a moment and guide everyone's eyes to the tuftless large owl just out back.
After looking carefully at the guides for the available local species I feel left with it having to be a Barred Owl, due to size, range, habitat, russet wings, and tuftless head (no pointy ears.)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
In other exciting news, today the USFS Fire Danger Class rose to "HIGH" and the sign out on Olean Street has been changed to reflect this.
It would be a bad time for a lighting a fire (recreational or brush) in the forest, so keep an eye out folks!