Monday, April 19, 2021

California Great-Horned Owl

A pair of great-horned owls are nesting in our neighbor's pine tree. We hear them hooting quite often, including about 4:00 a.m. in the morning as the noise floats in from my open bedroom window. The nest is very high up, visually protected and otherwise from many cross-branches. I've been looking regularly into the tree looking for the owls. 
About a month ago a Cooper's hawk was jawing at the still invisible owls, angry I think, because the owls stole the nest the hawk used last year. At dusk I saw the owl fly into a neighboring tree and the Cooper's hawk set out after it, jawing away. As it approached the owl, the owl jumped up, talons first, to meet the hawk. The Cooper's settled in a nearby tree to continue to complain. Then, just a few days ago, I got my second view, one of the owls returning from a hunting trip, leaning over into the stick nest and then going on to the nest. 
Then yesterday evening we got our best view yet. One of the owls landed on top of the pine tree and stood there quite awhile. I had my 600mm lens and was able to get the first good photos.  

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what it is about owls, but it is magical seeing them in the wild. It was really exciting to see this one perched on top of our neighbor's tree. It was definitely a "high."