After I left Bok Tower Gardens I stopped by Lake Parker in Lakeland to get out and walk around for a few minutes before heading back to Tampa. It was a quiet afternoon with only a few critters near the boat ramp.
Next to Lake Parker is a huge soccer field. There was no one playing on the field that day but I’m sure on a weekend there are tons of kids running around. There were light posts along the fields and in between them with nests on them. All of them had osprey nesting on top except for one. One light post right at the entrance to the field had an owl nest. The sun was not in my favor that afternoon but I was able to get the above. There were two almost grown owlets on the nest with Mom but one was hiding on the other side of Mom. On nights and weekends these fields are packed with screaming kids playing ball. I guess the owls don’t mind.
A few things I saw on my central Florida trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and Lake Parker in Lakeland in early March.
This beautiful great horned owl was posing so nicely.
The other adult was in another part of the tree and all fluffed up since it was a little chilly that morning.
Oh look! It’s a baby just waking up.
The parent started feeding the baby.
Mom was watching that bug flying close by while the baby was eating.
After breakfast it looks like they are both ready for a nap.
Owls are not too cute when they are first born. This little one was making the strangest faces. Once they get a little bigger and can sit up on the branch they are very curious about everything around them. It’s funny to watch the faces they make. This couple only had one baby.
At first I was excited to see the great horned owl sitting on the nest. I was thinking soon we’ll have baby owls. Then I saw her stand up, pick up an egg and drop it as she was flying off. My heart just dropped. I’ve been told they know when something’s not right and will keep the nest clean if needed. Hopefully, that wasn’t the only egg on the nest. Last year this nest had two babies grow up. She flew off across the trail to another tree.
The osprey that are nesting near there were bothering her and flying close to her so she kept moving from tree to tree but she stayed close to the nest.
She eventually flew a bit farther away and then took off past the woods and I couldn’t see where she was going. A few minutes later I turned around to look at the nest and saw the below.
I didn’t see her fly back so I don’t know whether she snuck back to the nest or if the other parent had been there all along and I just didn’t realize she was also on the nest. Stay posted for baby updates.
All of the above are permanently injured birds that live at McGough Nature Park . They were at the Craft show greeting people so everyone can learn about the birds. The hawk in the first picture was showing off his missing eye.
I saw this big beautiful dog and was watching him make friends with a much smaller dog. The smaller dog was trying to be a big tough dog and the bigger dog just sniffed him and gave him a kiss. They played together for a few minutes before their owners had to leave.
I’m not sure what kind of dog this was but there was two of them and the ladies were brushing them and weaving their fur into blankets and scarves. They just sat their and enjoyed the people walking by.
I picked a good day to drive across town and walk around the Largo Botanical Gardens. Next door at the Heritage Village, they were having a Fall festival and craft show. I wandered around for a while and watched the huge crowds of people have fun on a beautiful fall day (even though it was still 86 degrees). I was tempted to get a funnel cake but the line was too long.
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.