Nesting Great Horned Owl


I left Ann at home this morning, as she wanted to catch up on her household chores.  She was understandably jealous, that I was going to go birding and shooting without her, but someone had to do it.

We had discovered a Great Horned Owl’s nest in the fork of a tree a couple of days ago.  I am thinking that there are may be some owlets hidden there.  Great Horned Owls lay there egg sometime in January thru February.  The incubation period is from 28-35 days.  So based on that, the little guys should be ready to fledge.

I saw no sign of owlets, however the mother, I presume, flew from the nest as I approached from about 50 yards away.  I stayed back a good distance and watched as she landed in a nearby tree.  I got my Canon 70D and 150-600mm lens and cautiously got out of the car.  I hand-held the camera, steadying myself against a nearby tree and shot this photo.  The advantage of a long lens, of course, that I can get images from a good distance without disturbing the bird.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

I watched from behind a tree for awhile, then she took flight and flew back to the nest.  Again with my long lens, I was able to catch her peeking at me from her shelter.  Even though I was around 50 feet away she was obviously aware of me.

Great Horned Owl in her nest.

Great Horned Owl in her nest.

Since there was no sign of any owlets, I left her to her motherly duties and left the scene.

I drove through the local parks and saw several of the usual resident species.  I got a couple more photos to show you.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Ladder-backed Woodpecker - female

Ladder-backed Woodpecker – female

It was a fun morning even though Ann wasn’t with me.  I missed her doing most of the spotting.  But I done all right by myself, anyway.  Of course, the highlight was photographing the owl.