NFR "Annie" the Owl, rises from the ashes again, with a twist


Active Member
Last April (2013) I posted a thread about a juvenile owl I had seen with my daughter in August 2012, two days before the Taylor Bridge fire broke out in Cle Elum. It was a peculiar owl with a dilated left pupil (anisocoria) that we nicknamed "Annie".

Between the fire and the eye anomaly, I never knew if the owl had survived until the blown pupil allowed us to recognize her on a hike that April (2013), which I reported here:

We intermittently spotted Annie for several months until I stumbled upon these remains in August:

We were pretty sure Annie was dead and I did not see another owl the rest of the Summer or Fall. This winter, I heard the occasional hoot and saw several owls in the area but with snow on the ground I could never approach one with adequate stealth for a good look or picture.

This weekend, my daughter spotted an owl on the same looping branch that we first saw Annie almost two years ago. We grabbed a camera and a few shots of this good looking owl.

To our surprise, the owl my children and I were certain had been killed or died last summer is still alive, blown pupil and all.

My daughter (and I'll admit I) was overjoyed as we reported our findings back to the family. The following afternoon on another hike, we came upon Annie in another area of the woods, snapping a few photos before she flew off. We didn't follow.

Later that afternoon, we took another hike with a general heading toward the area where Annie had last flown. As we approached a downward sloping hillside, I was struck by an odd texture adherent to the side of a tree. I thought little of it and kept talking to my daughter about whatever subject we were on. Stepping to take a closer look, I realized we were probably looking at a dead bird slumped over a branch. Two steps closer, it raised its head and gave us a stare.

We exchanged awkward glances and stepped back from the baby owl. As we retreated, Annie took flight from a nearby tree and landed just out of sight. It would appear Annie has not only survived, but is now raising a family.

We made one more trek to the area before having to head back to the reality of the west side, finding the young owl in a normal upright position. I would have loved to remain and presumably watch Annie bring it food as darkness approached, but we didn't have that luxury. No blown pupil in this owl, but the identifying feature of its presumed parent has been a joy to follow.



Piscatorial predilection
What a HOOT!........ great story, thanks for sharing it. You can sure see "Annie" maturing in those photos. As always it's a life or death struggle.


wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
I tried staring Annie down, though I blinked first. Sheesh, your powers of observation are outstanding, I've seen a wild owl once, and to think you came across two live and one dead. Are there any tips you have for seeing owls?

Teenage Entomologist

Gotta love the pteronarcys.
That is so neat! I love native wildlife. Whenever I hear the sound of a Killdeer, it reminds me of when I fish the Sacramento River. Wildlife and Fish are the peanut butter and jelly!


the sultan of swing
Are there any tips you have for seeing owls?( Quote)
I think if you want to see owls or any wildlife for that matter, a person needs to stop and look around once in a while ,up in the trees and such. Instead of walking briskly through the wood in a hurry to get to some destination down the trail. you will see a lot more of mother natures marvels if you slow the pace down a bit

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