The owl came three times. Once to the playground and twice to the front porch.
“mantling” is a display in which the birds spread their wings, puff out their body
feathers and spread their tail in an attempt to look larger than they really
Toe dusting is often done in conjunction with mantling, and it involves the
owls dropping their heads toward the ground and swishing them back and forth
The combined activities are meant to deter a potential predator from coming any closer, and the impressive wing spread combined with the bizarre movements really can be intimidating.
When disturbed or threatened, the barn owl performs a fascinating
defensive display called “toe dusting.” While loudly hissing and clacking its beak,
the owl leans over, squints its eyes, opens its wings and sways its body. As it shifts
from foot to foot, it intermittently looks down, almost touching the ground with its
bill, and sweeps its head from side to side.
Is this a parent trying to lure out one of the owlets??
video is on the second visit