I had a little time last Wednesday to stop in at the Great Horned Owl (GHO) nest at the Academy. Based on when they started nesting, I believed I should see some baby owls.
I didn’t make it by until around 3 in the afternoon. I figured it should be more quiet at the campus at this time. As I was walking toward the nesting spot, I saw one of the adults go flying (so silently) by and land on a ledge on a nearby building. I quickly ran over there to get some photos. This is the first time I was able to get some photographs of an adult GHO other than sitting quietly in a tree.
The GHO is a gorgeous bird…and BIG!
After landing on the ledge, the owl slowly made its way over to a corner and looked down at me. Made for a great pic!
I then saw the mate sitting in a tree nearby. As I made my way over there, the owl on the ledge flew by me and landed in a neighboring tree from its mate. Of course, I had to take several photos. They turned out nice with the new green foliage around them.
I finally made my way over to the nest. I figured there must be some babies since the female wasn’t sitting on the nest. When I peered up, I saw two babies snoozing. Adorable! They look like they have only been hatched a few days.
While I was admiring the new additions to the family, I saw one of the adults fly over and land next it its mate. Beautiful! I just had to get a few pics of the proud parents. Just stunning birds.
I figured it was time to go. Before leaving I looked in on the nest one more time. I was delighted to see one of the babies was awake and looked curiously at me. Big yellow eyes in that tiny body.
As I was photographing the babies, one of the faculty of the Academy came over to see them. She told me the day before there had been three babies, but sadly one had fallen out. She said in the past they were able to rescue any that had fallen out of the nest. But this year’s loss went unnoticed too long and didn’t make it. Very sad….
I bid goodbye to the GHOs with wishes that the remaining two make it to adulthood. I will have to check back from time to time over the next few weeks to see their progress.