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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

A Brood of Three Owlets

April 24th, 2015 · 5 Comments

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For weeks I have been watching a nearby nest where a pair of Great Horned Owls made a nest to raise three owlets. For probably a dozen years that pair has been using the same dead cottonwood tree as their nest, and I have been watching them since 2010.

Last year the first of the owlets fledged on April 14.​ This year the first one waited a week, and I found it in a tree just a few feet from the nest.

​A Great Horned Owlet on its First Day of Fledged Freedom​​

A Great Horned Owlet on its First Day of Fledged Freedom

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​Adult ​Great Horned ​O​wls start nesting in January. The female will incubate the eggs ​for about four to five weeks ​while her mate brings her food. ​When the eggs hatch, moma owl doesn’t have to stay on the nest, but she is never far away. She was always ready to protect her young from crows or other birds that hate owls or ​from ​any ​predator that want​s​ a ​tender​ meal.

​Mama Owl Was a Few Feet from the Nest

Mama Owl Was a Few Feet from the Nest

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​​Mama owl stays with the ​owlets and hunts ​only when food is scarce. Papa owl brings all the food to nest until the female is no longer brooding the ​owlets.

​Waking from a Nap, Papa Owl Is Ready to Hunt

Waking from a Nap, Papa Owl Is Ready to Hunt

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​For about six weeks after hatching, the owlets remained in the nest. At first each of them were too small to look out at the wider world and for us to see them. But they grew quickly.

​​Two Weeks before Hatching, the Largest Owl Wanted to Fly

Two Weeks before Fledging, the Largest Owl Wanted to Fly

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​In the many hours ​that ​I watched the nest, the ​smallest one appeared only three or four times. And only once for about one minute at the end of ​one​ day did all three of them have their eyes open at the same time. I was watching ​when they all looked my way, perhaps attracted by the click of my camera’s shutter​.​

​A Brood of Three Owlets

A Brood of Three Owlets

Click on the picture above to enlarge
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Posted in: Photography

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rochelle whitleman // May 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Great photos always and great advice. I came to, the conclusion about testing a while back about test,OMG.
    Sleep is a hard issue. 80 years old …work in yard. Naturally landscaped native habitats…Important to me…work get tired take nap wrecks nighttime sleep….eat well all day. Then snack… I will try to read more of your inspirational stuff..metformin is keeping numbers ok but I cheat too much.

  • 2 Rochelle whitleman // May 1, 2015 at 7:22 am

    I hope my comments do not end up on facebook…only your images….

  • 3 David Mendosa // May 1, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Dear Rochelle,

    Thank you for your comments. I am posting them only on my website, not on Facebook!

    Best regards,
    David

  • 4 Christin // May 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Great photos, beautiful owls! Were these taken in Colorado?

  • 5 David Mendosa // May 26, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you, Christin. Yes, I took those photos fewer than 8 miles from my home in Boulder, Colorado.