Peter Mitchell: Owl Spotting in Brookdale Park

This Great Horned Owl is part of a mating pair recently observed in Brookdale Park by my wife, Cindy Furlong. These birds are near the tennis courts and are best observed and heard in late afternoon until dusk. We heard a series of six hoots – very WHO sounding.

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  1. Nice picture. Occasionally one or two of these owls spy on me from a tree in my front yard when I retrieve the morning paper. Beauty of a bird, but I’ll be honest – it kinds of creeps me out!

  2. Great to know they can survive in Baristaville, but with all the rats living along the NJT line, no surprises. I know they will be happy here, now that they’ve vacated the old growth forest that has been cut down for Seton Hall, much to herb’s satisfaction.
    Never have seen the type above, but we’ve had screech owls down in the Watchung Plaza area – great sounding birds. They whistle more than screech. I’ve seen them at dusk, in silhouette, sitting on the electric cables slung across the neighborhood.

  3. That’s great that Brookdale has a pair of Great Horned Owls! Nice picture! Over here in Watsessing I’ve heard the Screech Owl but not a Great Horned Owl.

  4. I don’t know a hoot about birds, but I love that when I sit down at night to read the paper after everyone else has gone to bed, I hear a very loud owl in our backyard. I find that to be pretty cool that we have such nature only 15 miles west of Manhattan. A few years ago, we saw turkeys, a finch and a coyote in our yard all within a few months. Maybe not using chemicals on our lawn is paying off!

  5. Very cool. I’d love to see this bird, but alas, I have no time until Friday. I hope it’s still around then. Will someone please keep an eye on it and let me know? (I’m serious.)

  6. Could you please tell us by which part of the tennis court one is most likely to see the owl(s)? Any hints would be a great help! Thanks.

  7. A birder friend may make the journey from out of town to see these owls this weekend so if anyone has an update please pass it along.

  8. Saw one bird in a fir tree near the southeast corner of the tennis courts. Take the lower path and look at the trees across from the utility station.
    I heard two birds hoot, but saw only one.

  9. I would walk around the courts looking at the ground around the trees. You should see owl pellets which is what they regurgitate after digesting their prey. You might see their droppings on the trunk too.

  10. Spotted this beautiful creature today, Sunday, March 11th around 5:30 p.m. Found some skat with fur and bones but could not spot the owls. Approached a woman with binoculars on path and she pointed out the location. She said the pair have been there since February and witnessed some “mating”. Gorgeous female perched high in the fir tree. Go to path below tennis courts right past the utility building with trucks. Owl is high up in tree right next to courts.

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