Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge extends over the marshy remains of a large lake that existed in Northern New Jersey some 15,000 years ago. I don’t go there often, and today’s trip was the first in five years.
Great Swamp has wooden walkways so that you don’t have to muddy your shoes, and blinds to observe and photograph birds. However, the Barred Owl below was standing on a tree branch by one of the walkways, and it barely budged even though several people were pointing their scopes, smartphones, or cameras at it.
The owl has beautiful black eyes needed to hunt at night, but this owl was probably taking a daytime nap.
Eastern Phoebes is a songbird living in the East of North America, from Canada to Mexico. It is quite common and not on the endangered list. I saw this one from a blind at Great Swamp NWR.