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A Mothers Vigil… The Great Horned Owl

Mother Great Horned Owl returning to her nest to tend her eggs.

While fishing an area near the houseboat I found myself scanning the trees in search of some photo opportunities. The trees nearby are usually host to nesting Red Tail Hawks and while scanning one of the nests they used last year I noticed something odd so I put my fishing pole down picked my camera and zeroed in on the nest after taking a couple of shots and zooming in on the LCD on my Nikon I realized a Great Horned Owl had taken up residence in the nest.

A Mothers vigil, day in and day out storm or not this mother Owl sits on her nest.

Every day on my way out to fish I would pass by the nest take a couple of pics and check on the progress of this magnificent raptor. Day in and day out, rain or shine her vigil continued. She was usually hunkered down sleeping but on occasion she would fly out of the nest only to have another owl come and perch on the branches of a nearby tree while she was gone. This I am quite sure was the Male and as time went on I realized the male was roosting in a tree nearby.

This is the male he roosts in a tree across the way, the Owls communicate all day and night and when the female leaves the nest the male comes and guards the nest from predators.

When the female needed a break he would fly to a branch nearby and stand watch until the female returned. This pair of owls communicate constantly as if to say, are they here yet?… No not yet… I need a break … get over and watch these eggs while I go to get something to eat will ya…

Today while fishing, on my usual pass by the nest I noticed the nest was empty and figured this might be a good opportunity to catch the Owl as she returned to the nest, yesterday I got my first opportunity to get a photo of the male as he stood by the nest talking to the female but when I raised my camera and clicked the button nothing happened …. Dammit &*%#$*&, I left my memory card in my computer, so back to the houseboat I went for my memory card when I returned the male had gone and the female was sitting in her usual position. Today though I had my memory card and a charged battery and as I settled in to await the return of the Mother Owl I noticed something moving in the nest… What the? is that? After squinting, cleaning my glasses and my lens, repositioning and taking a couple of shots with my 80 200mm lens and reviewing them, I realized the babies were here…… Yaayyy! Well at least the baby as I could only make out a small tuft of fluff peeking over the top of the nest. Not sure why but I felt like a proud father.

So that’s where we stand as of today stay tuned for more updates.

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6 responses

  1. Very nice captures, Hutch. 🙂

    April 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    • Thanks Mike

      April 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

  2. Tony DeCesare

    You bring a new meaning to “Hooters”…

    April 26, 2012 at 1:23 am

    • Lol, yep I get to hear em Hootin all day long

      April 26, 2012 at 2:58 am

  3. Renee

    These are really great images Hutch! nice work 🙂

    September 15, 2012 at 4:15 am

    • Thank you Renee..

      September 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

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