The Safety Harbor owls were growing up.

A rare time seeing both parents sitting together high up in a tree while the babies sit below alone in the nest. Although, at this point the babies are big enough to stay by themselves as long as a parent is close by. We usually only see one parent at a time.

After a while, Mom woke up and flew down to the nest.

She only stayed for a few minutes and then took off across the park while Dad continued to nap high above.

The babies were awake and were very curious looking around at all of the joggers and dog walkers going by.

Then this one sits up, stretches and yawns and then plops down for a nap. Time for me to go home and have lunch


Photographing New Zealand

Another great horned owl family

Both parents were close to the nest. Mom out in the open in the top picture. Dad was trying to hide in the moss while napping.

Mom eventually flew down to the nest. She turned her back when she was feeding the little ones so I don’t have a shot of that. After a few minutes she left again, flying to a branch nearby.

The little ones sat quietly for while, watching people walk by.

Someone found a pellet right underneath where the Dad was sleeping. We were trying to figure out what he had eaten.

I ran into some friends who were there walking their dog. They stopped to chat for a while but the dog was ready to go. He wanted to be out running in the park, not sitting under a tree while his owners were talking.

The view of north Tampa bay from the park. The owl’s nest sits in a big oak tree in the middle of a parking lot. It’s a main thoroughfare for joggers and walkers so the area is very busy.

Photographing New Zealand

Watching owls grow up.

The young great horned owls are very curious at this age. They were making faces at other birds that would fly by the nest.

Mom flew in for a few minutes and then took off.

They started yawning and looked like they were settling in for a long nap.

The view of the nest taken with my phone where we were standing. The nest sits right on a main trail and is very visible when people are walking along the beach.

Growing up in a tree.

One of the great horned owl parents keeping an eye on the nest.

The baby great horned owls are very cute at this age. They were very curious and would bob their heads when a mockingbird or osprey flew by. They spent a long time looking around and then finally facing Mom in the other tree. They eventually dozed off.

Mom didn’t move all morning.

These were all taken in mid-February with my zoom lens and extremely cropped.

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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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.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters

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.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

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.