This is one of the juvenile Great Horned owls having a morning grooming session. The family of four live in the trees in our yard. Soon the two owlets will fly off to begin their life on their own. The parents will stay…they’ve been here since we moved to the ranch 10 years ago.
When we moved here over eight years ago, we inherited a nesting pair of Great Horned owls. They live here year-around in the five Chinese elm trees that circle our house and raise a family every year. This year’s owlets have already left for life on their own…so it’s just mamma and papa until next spring when they will make their nest in the hole in the rim rock next to the house…as they do every year. This is papa owl; the smaller of the two.
Papa Great Horned Owl was looking very regal in the Elm tree this mornin’. The sun was shining on him giving him a warm glow, but it was 17 degrees F this mornin’…with a wind. Brrrrrr!
According to my estimated calculations, their clutch of eggs should have hatched in the past couple of days! Mamma owl disappeared on about January 29; it takes 30-35 days to incubate and hatch. So, the eggs should have hatched between Feb 28 and March 3…give or take a few days since I can only estimate by observation of their nesting habits.
Nonetheless, in another 45 days or so, the fledglings will start to venture out of the nest…the hole in the rim rock 20 feet up. I’ve gotten some interesting photos in the past years…we’ll see what I can capture this year!
Papa Great Horned Owl waits patiently in an elm tree in our yard during the day. Mamma owl sits on their nest of eggs located in a hole in the rim rock no far from our house. His big job comes at dusk when he hunts for food for both him and his mate.
This same pair have been nesting in the same nest since we moved here over seven years ago. They’ll raise between 3 to 5 owlets every spring and summer. In the fall, the owlets are are kicked out to fend for themselves.