Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Baby Great Horned Owl - June 19

At dawn this morning our baby Great Horned Owl was sitting near the top of that same little tree next to our courtyard:

30 minutes later he had settled in a little lower in the same tree. It's hard not to want to hold this little guy to you chest and give him a hug. Probably not a good idea. Just admire -- and love from a distance.

Baby Great Horned Owl - June 18

Our baby Great Horned Owl has now gotten a little bolder. He has moved into a small tree next to our courtyard, just on the other side of the wall:

Here a little later in the day, he has moved to a horizontal branch.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Baby Great Horned Owl - June 17, 2019

Our little Great Horned Owl is getting a little bolder -- now up on the wall that surrounds our courtyard:

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Baby Great Horned Owl - June 16

The baby Great Horned Owl spends a lot of time sitting in -- or on -- an empty flower pot, providing some wonderful photos:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Update on Great Horned Owls

We got our first good looks at the baby Great Horned Owl in her nest a few days ago. 

The nest is in an aleppo pine tree in our master bedroom courtyard. It has always been challenging to get a good look at the nest because it is high up in the tree and well hidden. 

It's been 10 weeks since the mom began sitting in the nest. (It was a Cooper's Hawk nest for the past couple of years).

Yesterday the Owlet left the nest and literally landed on our door step. He had "floated" down from the nest into our courtyard, landing on the "Welcome Mat" in front of our door. 

Christine talked to her for several minutes. After I took a few photos we decided to let her be. We checked back a little later and she was sitting in a flower bed.

This morning, the little one was back on the Welcome Mat in front of our door looking in, as if to say, "Where have you been?"

Also of note there was a dead half eaten sparrow in the courtyard next to the tree.

 The courtyard is fairly small, maybe 100 square feet or so. Lots of plants, so lots of places to hide if necessary. It is entirely possible that the owls nested there to provide protection from the surrounding walls for their little ones once they leave the nest. 

We are hoping that the owlet will survive, and will provide updates as they happen.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Other photos from Sweetwater Wetlands

In addition to the raccoons, I got some bird photos:

Common Gallinule

Common Yellowthroat Male

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Red Winged Blackbird

Tropical Kingbird

Verdin at Nest

Yellow Warbler

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Sweetwater Wetlands: Raccoon

Going to Sweetwater Wetlands at dawn often provides an opportunity to see bobcats, coyotes, and/or raccoons.

On June 4th I arrived just as the gate was being opened. I was greeted by two raccoons within a few minutes. One climbed a tree -- so we could play hide n' seek. The other had been in the algae covered water.

Here are a few of the photos I took, starting with my favorite:

Note the algae covered feet:

Monday, June 3, 2019

Great Horned Owl Update

No news to report. The female Great Horned Owl is still sitting on her nest. She's been there since April 2nd. Because the nest is 80 feet high in one of our aleppo pines it is difficult to see any owlets that might be there. 

Typically, the incubation period is between 30 and 37 days, and then nestling 42 days. At this point it has been 63 days so it will probably be within a couple of weeks when we start seeing the young owlets outside the nest.

The male remains about 20 feet below the nest and is there from dawn to dusk every day.

Here are a couple photos I took this morning:

Male Great Horned Owl

Female Great Horned Owl in Nest