We often hear barred owls hooting from the woods behind, but this is the first time I've seen them in daylight in our yard. They are somewhat diurnal so not a surprise to see it out at mid-day. It seemed to be watching the backyard -- the wild meadow that we mowed this fall -- waiting for a vole to carelessly emerge from a grassy hideout. Seeing no movement, the owl flew into the back woods.
I am extra thrilled about this because my 7-year old niece said she saw an owl near the bird feeders on Thanksgiving weekend. She is quite observant, but I was wondering if she mistook it for a Cooper's hawk, which we often see near the feeders, since I had never seen an owl so near the house during the day. Clearly my niece knows her owls and her hawks!