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Great Horned Owl

bubo virginianus

Notes:

I was driving home from a midday appointment yesterday and saw this owl bouncing around on the ground! I parked my car and started walking over to the old cotton wood tree that he was under. (Same tree that the great horned owls have nested in this year.) This owl instantly saw me and flew away. I decided to sit quietly for quite some time near some bushes and just watch. I was very lucky because a family of American Kestrels scared this owl right back over to me. He literally flew 2 feet above my head. He landed in the tree in the above picture, preened and got comfortable until he realized I was there. Then he flew off to join another Great Horned Owl in a low tree several yards away. At that point I didn't bother them any more! I'm honestly not sure but if I had to guess, I would guess these are indeed the babies that fledged near my house this year! The parents had two chicks that fledged and I saw two owls that had (for lack of a better term) funny looking heads. If they are not the babies, they could be the parents molting, but they acted like young inexperienced owls!

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17 Comments

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 8 years ago

Thank you gatorfellows! This was a fun spotting!

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

lovely, thanks for your patience to get the shot to share :)

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 8 years ago

Thank you Alice! I need to add the story to the notes!

alicelongmartin
alicelongmartin 9 years ago

Lovely! The story adds so much!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Ha ha Jemma! Thanks that's a great link! I WISH owls were easier to see! I have only ever seen Great Horned Owls in the wild! I would love to find some wild barn owls or screech owls in the near future!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Here is a link to spot California owls! They make it sound so easy to spot owls!
http://www.audublog.org/?p=11064

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

cool!! What a great feeling to see an owl from so close!!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thanks Joshua, Karen and Cindy! This owl and what I think was his sibling both had little scraggly "horns". He was pissed so his feather tufts were down in most of my pictures including the ones above.

I really do think these were the two babies, but if they were, I wonder where the parents were?!

Wonderful, Emily!

KarenL
KarenL 9 years ago

Great capture Emily!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 9 years ago

Awesome story Emily! I think you're right about them being the same young. Many raptor young are starting to become branchers right now and you can see he's not even close to an adult because of the only partially formed facial disk and lack of "horns".

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 9 years ago

Thank you everyone!

Ava, I wasn't sure if this owl was playing or trying to get something. It was in the middle of the day which was odd! I was driving home from an appointment yesterday and saw this owl bouncing around on the ground! I parked my car and started walking over to the old cotton wood tree that he was under. (Same tree that the great horned owls have nested in this year.) This owl instantly saw me and flew away. I decided to sit quietly for quite some time near some bushes and just watch. I was very lucky because a family of American Kestrels scared this owl right back over to me. He literally flew 2 feet above my head. (For a split second I though he was going to attack me, just because he flew so close!) He landed in the tree in the above picture, preened and got comfortable until he realized I was there. Then he flew off to join another Great Horned Owl in a low tree several yards away. At that point I didn't bother them any more!

Christy, I'm honestly not sure but if I had to guess, I would guess these are indeed the babies that fledged near my house this year! The parents had two chicks that fledged and I saw two owls that had (for lack of a better term) funny looking heads. If they are not the babies, they could be the parents molting, but they acted like young inexperienced owls!

ChristyHolland
ChristyHolland 9 years ago

Awww...great capture, Em!! Is this one of the babies?? Do I see a little fluff around the face?? Regardless, fantastic spotting!!

Tishanne Patterson
Tishanne Patterson 9 years ago

Wonderful spotting.

Smith Zoo
Smith Zoo 9 years ago

Majestic moment captured! Brilliant Emily!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 9 years ago

Did he/she have an eye on some prey?

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

great sighting!!

EmilyMarino
Spotted by
EmilyMarino

Westminster, Colorado, USA

Spotted on Jun 27, 2013
Submitted on Jun 27, 2013

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