Great Horned Owlets in April

Update on the Owlets:

Rescued Great Horned Owlet at the Raptor Centre on April 7.

The Great Horned Owl (that nested in the Palm Tree in our front yard) laid four eggs. One egg ‘escaped’ the nest, so didn’t hatch. Three owlets hatched, but one fell out of the nest when it was about 2 weeks old. I rescued it and gave it to a Raptor Center to raise.

The two remaining owlets are growing quickly. Feathers are replacing the fuzzy down. Watch the transition below:

Great Horned Owlet April 10
Great Horned Owlet April 17
Great Horned Owlets April 21

The Drop Zone
The downside to having an owls nest in our front yard is the mess. You can see the accumulating owl droppings (at nest height) in the photo above. At ground level, there are more droppings, owl pellets (regurgitated bones, fur and feathers), and for some reason two dead rodents…

The Camera
All photos were taken with a Canon Powershot SX50 HS camera. It has a single fixed superzoom lens. That means I can fill the photo with the owlet’s face while standing across the street.

Great Horned Owl Nest Timeline:
March 5 – mother owl is sitting on the nest. One egg has escaped the nest. (incubation time is 28-35 days.)
March 24 – broken egg found at base of tree. Owlets have hatched?
April 4 – first sighting of owlets, nearly 2 weeks after probable hatching.
April 7 – Owlet falls out of nest and is relocated to Raptor Center.
April 22 – Owlets starting to exercise wings. They move to the shady side of the tree during the heat of the afternoon.

The owlets might stay in the nest for about 6 weeks after hatching, though they could try to fly to nearby branches when about 5 weeks old. After they have left the nest, they may also be seen walking around on the ground for awhile before they can fly. The parents will continue to feed them for some time.

15 thoughts on “Great Horned Owlets in April

  1. Great photos. A robin couple just built a nest in our mailbox. We asked the mail to be delivered into a box several feet away so as not to disturb the birds. There are now three small blue eggs in the nest. Whenever I go out or come in the front door the bird currently sitting on the nest flies away perhaps 20 feet and flies back when I’m gone inside. I’m looking forward to seeing the chicks when the eggs hatch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robins aren’t timid at all, are they!? I’ve had robins follow me as I weed in the garden. Apparently I uncover things they like to eat.

      Like

There, I'm finished. Now it is your turn:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s