I've previously posted about the pair of red-shouldered hawks that chose to nest in our woods this year (see Hawks & Ducks for photos). They sometimes (one or the other or both) have chosen to sit atop our bluebird nesting box. Thus, a few days ago, I wasn't surprised to have Hunky Husband tell me that one of the hawks was sitting on the box. Now I'm beginning to wonder.
After HH went to bed, last evening at dusk, I looked out back and saw a big bird sitting on the bluebird nesting box. I very nearly shrugged it off and continued to close down the kitchen. However, the sihlouette looked a bit strange. I caught a bunch of pics; but, they all looked pretty dark when I downloaded them (see the one, below, for example).
By lightening the pictures up - a lot! - I can post photos that show you what I saw.
Ah, yes. Unless someone has a better suggestion, I'm calling it a barred owl. We frequently hear barred owls; but, I think that this is only the 2nd or 3rd time in 14 years that I've seen one, here.