Owls and inchworms

I got to the park right before dark and saw Papa owl flying over to a tall tree along the water. He hung out there for a while, preening and stretching. I guess he had just gotten up from a long afternoon nap. Soon he would be taking off to go get dinner for the nest.

Mom stayed on the tree near the nest. The baby was big enough at this point to sit alone on the nest but Mom always stays close by.

There seemed to be an inchworm infestation at the park. They were dripping from the trees. We were walking around the shelters near the trees and realized that we were covered in them. Although they are harmless it was a little creepy having them in my hair and on my shirt. We were pulling them off each other and then learned to walk around the trees and to keep an eye out for them. This was in February back when we could stand close together.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters.

Hooting at the moon

I stopped by a park in mid-February to check on the owls that nest there every year. They had been sitting on eggs for a while but I wasn’t sure of the exact days. No sign of a baby yet but I found both of the parents. Mom was far down in the nest and I could just barely see the tops of her ears.  Dad was sitting close by. It was late in the day and he was just waking up from a long nap.

He took off and flew to a tree nearby and was sitting out in the open. He started hooting. I realized that they don’t hoot with their beaks open but the white part of their chest fluffs up from the vibration. It was cool to sit quietly in the woods right before dark and watch him hoot.

I realized the moon was coming up way off across the bay.  After a few minutes he took off heading towards the moon.

Mom was still hiding in that big tree as the sun went down.

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

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.

What owls think

“It’s getting close to dinnertime.”

“Does anybody deliver rats?”

“Do you love me Mom?”

“What’s that smell? Are you using deodorant?”

“Mom, scratch my head.”

“Mom, turn around. Everyone wants to take our picture.”

“Why do they think we’re so exciting? We don’t do anything.”

“Really Mom, I’m getting hungry.

“Mom, get that bug off my beak.”

“Is it still there?”

“I guess I’ll go get dinner.”

Babies are getting big

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Mom napping in a tree right on the trail.

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“What’s all that clicking down there?”

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Skywatch Friday