Wednesday, April 14, 2021

California Great Horned Owl

The great horned owl has a number of subspecies, including the California great horned owl which is found in Central and Southern California west of the Sierra Nevada, except for the San Joaquin Valley, south to northwestern Baja California, Mexico. 
It is a rich brown, with distinct dark underside barring, the feet are mottled dark and the facial disc is also often darkly mottled. It is fairly small bodied compared to other subspecies. 
My first photo (unfortunately blurry) was of the parent owls together in a tree. 

The top owl flew. 

The bottom owl remained awhile. 

Then it flew. 

I was walking in Live Oak Canyon the day before yesterday and encountered a man I'd seen at least once before. I had my camera with a 600mm lens attached. He asked if I liked birds and I indicated I did. He indicated that he had a pair of nesting great horned owls in a palm tree in their yard and said I would be welcome to come by and photograph them. I made arrangements to go by yesterday early evening. 
This is the young owl that fell out of the nest. 

When I arrived the two parents were quite active and hooting. My friend and his wife were on their back hill and they'd found one of the baby owls out of the nest on the ground. It was too young to fly. So he'd gotten gloves and put it in the crook of a tree, off the ground, so it would be safer, with the hopes that the parents will feed it until it is ready to fly. 
The two owls remaining in the nest. 

It was a thrill to get photos of the remaining two owls in the nest, this solo young owl and the two parent owls. 

1 comment:

  1. That baby owl looks like something created for a fantasy movie. I've never seen anything like it. It is so crazy looking! What a great experience to be able to see those babies and their parents!