Wildlife

Out Of The Nest And To The Top Of The Tree!….. Now I Must Learn To Fly!

I was very concerned when I first spotted this Great Horned Owl in a nest very close to a busy street. The branches of this oak tree extending over the road. I am so happy that it finally was able to climb to the top of the tree away from the road. Should be flying soon! This Fledgling Great Horned Owl has really lifted my spirits over the last few weeks, can’t wait to see it in flight! Both parents keeping a close eye on it! AWESOME!

With its long, ear like tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare, and deep hooting voice, the Great Horned Owl is the quintessential owl of storybooks.

This powerful predator can take down birds and mammals even larger than itself, but it also dines on daintier fare such as tiny scorpions, mice, and frogs.

It’s one of the most common owls in North America, equally at home in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.

Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls.

When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.

If you hear an agitated group of cawing American Crows, they may be mobbing a Great Horned Owl. Crows may gather from near and far and harass the owl for hours. The crows have good reason, because the Great Horned Owl is their most dangerous predator.

Duck for Lunch

Great Horned Owls are covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against the cold winter weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey. Their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest.

Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears.

The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005.

Picture by Jeff

Info from: Cornell all about birds

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