Owlets Draw Birdwatchers To Salt Lake City Cemetery

May 16, 2020, 11:23 AM | Updated: Sep 5, 2022, 11:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Hidden among the headstones, they are practically ghosts. Shrouded by daylight, one can only hope to catch their call faintly in the wind. For several days now, three young owlets at the Salt Lake City Cemetery have been attracting dozens of birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.

“It’s good to listen,” said Nan Seymour, who quietly sat on a curb one evening while patiently scanning treetops.

The owls of the Salt Lake City Cemetery may well be apparitions, drawing the living to the unlikeliest of places in hopes of finding “evidence” of their presence.

Recently, three owlets, believed to be only weeks old, have proven to be the ultimate “capture,” with as many as two dozen owl watchers and wildlife photographers turning out on a given night to snap photos and record videos.

“I heard a rough location of where the owls were, so I just came looking,” said Seymour.

By contrast, Brian Barton’s trained eye and high-powered camera lens had become regulars, traveling every night from Taylorsville to mark the baby owls’ progress.

“I think it was last Wednesday that they finally left the nesting tree,” Barton said while looking for the owlets on May 7. “I know one night, they were feasting on a rabbit, so there’s plenty of food for them.”

Dean Osborn said he also enjoyed watching the owls hunt and practice flight.

“(It’s) just like the zoo, huh?” he said.

Strong winds Friday raised doubts the little ones would be seen, especially as daylight turned to twilight.

As the full moon rose over the mountains, though, the owlets did not disappoint. They arrived once again to spread their wings in the moonlight.

“Oh that’s beautiful!” Barton exclaimed.

Barton said he was grateful for the nightly opportunity to photograph the creatures.

“This was a unique opportunity,” Barton said. “I enjoy it.”

Seymour said she also enjoyed connecting with nature this way.

“You know, birds are a reason to look up,” Seymour said. “That’s worthwhile, whether you see them or not, I think.”

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Owlets Draw Birdwatchers To Salt Lake City Cemetery