Last evening, as dusk enveloped our Littleton farm, a flock of magpies began to squawk from the northwest corner of the property. Checking on the cause for their alarm, I observed a great horned owl, perched on a limb of an aspen tree.
Oblivious of the confrontation, the stoic raptor gazed out across the pasture as if to apologize for the disturbance. The magpies continued their vocal onslaught for ten minutes or so but finally gave up and dispersed; the owl, on the other hand, held his ground until darkness obscured his presence.
Fortunately, our two grandsons were visiting last evening and were able to observe this classic confrontation. Having never seen an owl in the wild, they got a close look at the nocturnal predator and certainly developed an appreciation for the battles that all wildlife endure. A discussion of the owl's diet and behavior ensued and I have no doubt that the experience will long live in their memories; hopefully, it will also fuel a lifelong interest in nature.