Those were and are, I think, some type of goose. As it happens, a young goose couple decided to have a sexy party in our yard during my son's play date last week.
"What they dooooin'?"
"They're just... playing, hon. Let's leave them alone."
Was out walking the dog late last night, and had a wonderful encounter with a young owl. I'm just walking, minding my own business and enjoying the weather. It was late and the street was quiet, with no one in sight. At the top of my field of vision, I catch a glimpse of a dark shape fly a few feet over my head from behind me. At first, I thought it was a bat and brought my free hand up over my head as a shield. But the shape got out ahead of me, swooped around and landed on a mailbox about 8 feet from me. It certainly didn't land like a bat. I could tell it's body was upright. Squinting thru the dark, I locked eyes with a barred owl.
It was a little one, no more than 8 inches tall, and it had downy feathers. And it was trying to act very tough. As I stared, it started to bob and weave it's head like it was sizing me up and letting me know what a bad mutha it was. I laughed and held up my hands. "I'm just walking here. You do what you need to do." It lunged forward, diving from the mailbox and in low to the ground, straight at me. I stood still and had the dog do the same. There were only a few inches between Mr. Tough Guy and my pant leg. I let the owl get out ahead of us, and resumed the walk. Undeterred, the little owl landed on a mailbox on the opposite side of the street and waited for me. I waved as I passed and wished it good hunting, giving it a fairly good berth as we went. The owl took off toward somewhere behind us and I figured he was gone about his business. Fair enough. But owl wasn't done. As we reached a street sign, I heard a small *ting* at the top and looked up. Sure enough, little owl had come back. This time, though, he had the high ground and he used it. He bent low, and worked for eye contact with me. He'd worked his way in for closer looks each time, and now he was within four feet of me. "Hello," I said. "Do you need something?" And he took off, wheeling around in a tight arc and coming to rest on a well-covered tree branch across the street. A perfect spot for a young owl to see everything on the street without being seen.
The size and state of the feathers make me think that this was a pretty young owl, most likely out on one of its first hunts. I feel this great sense of priviledge for having been witness to, and part of, that event.