Fun flying faces

Red bellied woodpecker

Carolina chickadees

Yellow crowned night heron

My favorite little titmouses.

A young mockingbird

Northern parula

Osprey flyby

Juvenile little blue heron in a sea of green and purple.

Curious baby great horned owls from high up in a pine tree.

A few birds in June at Chesnut Park.

SkyWatch Friday

Babies are getting big


Another trip to Fort Desoto to see how big the baby owls had gotten.


They were getting big. The sun wasn’t in my favor this morning. The owls were facing the other way.


They were awake but didn’t move too much. They were facing in the direction of Mom, who was in a tree across the trail.


They were half sleeping and would look around every once in while. There’s a lot of bird traffic going on since the nest is between two osprey nest. Seagulls and pelicans were cruising by overhead.


Mom napping in a tree right on the trail.


“What’s all that clicking down there?”


Skywatch Friday

If at first you don’t succeed.


One of the parents was sitting in a tree across from the babies.


I turned around to see what the parent was looking at and saw this.


Two fuzzballs were in the old owl’s nest.


“What are you looking at big brother?”


They were both watching the parent.


“Dad, when are you gonna feed us?”


The littlest one stayed in the same spot while the bigger one was moving around a little.


I found the other parent high up in the same tree as the babies.


As the sun was going down, big brother climbed over the other side of the big branch.


I think most people had given up on the owl’s nest this year. For two months back in December they sat on the nest. I knew that was way too long. I stopped by in late January and both owls were off the nest. I think everyone thought they wouldn’t be successful this year and something must have happened. Did the eggs not hatch? No one knew for sure. I hadn’t been back to the park since then. Then I got a message from Judy about baby owls there and finally was able to make it over after work. I guess at some point the parents tried again. Better late than never. Thanks to Judy for the head’s up on them.

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Baby owls are growing up

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Short video of the baby owls looking around.


Just a handful of the photogs that were at the owl’s nest on an early Sunday morning. We were all standing around waiting for them to wake up. That’s my camera set-up front and center. This was taken with my Iphone.

More pictures from the early March visit to the great horned owl’s nest to see the twins. They were growing up fast. They are so animated when they are looking around and have the funniest expressions. We were so excited to see both of them doing well this year since the year before one did not survive. I paid one more visit after this one a few weeks later. They were hopping from branch to branch. Pictures of that visit will be posted later.

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Baby greats getting big.


Sleeping wet balls of fluff.


They wake up. What do they see in the sky? A bird, a plane, superman? or Super Mom?


The sun came out for a few minutes.


“How long are we going to be stuck in this tree?”


Mom was sitting high up in an exposed pine tree.  Gulls and other birds started bothering her. They were dive bombing her. Then an osprey started to bother her.


I don’t know why she stayed there. Eventually, she moved to a lower branch on another tree closer to the nest.


“Let me see” said the younger one on the left. Mom had moved and now they were facing away from the sun and watching her.  This was the view staring into the sun on the other side of the tree.


Now they were looking in opposite directions. That tree is starting to look rough.


Is that a yawn or a yell for food?

It was a quiet morning. Even though there were lots of photographers there, everyone was whispering. Occasionally, when the baby great horned owls would look out, you would hear a thousand clicks go off when everyone starting taking pictures. It was weird watching the gulls bothering mom. What did they think she had? She didn’t have any food with her. The babies were tucked away in that tree and they were much bigger than the gulls anyway. She wasn’t out on the beach but back in the tree-lined picnic area. Several hundred pictures later, it was time for me to leave. I was having lunch with my aunt-in-law.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

Baby owls – trip #2


Another week later, I headed back down to Fort Desoto to see the baby owls. They were just a little bit bigger. It’s amazing how they blend into mom.


One of the babies was just waking up.


The other baby was just starting to peak out on the right. His beak was poking out of mom’s feathers.


Both babies were trying to move around while mom was on the nest. Not much room in that little apartment.


Nice butt shot. You can see his pin feathers from this angle.

Another trip to see the baby owls. The wind was blasting and it was a little chilly so the babies stayed tucked under mom most of the morning. At this point they were 3-4 weeks old. Last year we lost one around this time so we’re hopeful that both grow up to fly away.

Baby owls at Fort Desoto


Walking towards the fishing pier, I saw these two osprey chasing each other.


This was all I saw on the beach next to the pier. It was so windy the few laughing gulls were hunkered down together. Other shorebirds and pelicans were scarce.


When I got to the owl’s nest, this is what I saw. Mom looks like she’s still waking up.


As I zoomed in, I noticed the baby right in front of mom. If you look closely at her stomach, right below the dark brown part, you can see a beak sticking out. One of the babies was trying to hide under mom’s feathers.


A little while later, the other baby stuck his head out. It looked like a fuzzy cotton ball.


It looks like a cotton ball with a beak stuck on it. Both babies slept all morning and only lifted their heads up a few times.  This was almost a month ago. I’ve been back every weekend since so I’ve got lots of the pictures of them growing up.


Across the park from the owls, you can just barely see the eagle’s nest. A parent was sitting on the nest and you can barely make out a brown spot on top of the nest. The baby is pretty big there. You can’t get close to this nest. This was far away and cropped up.

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