Monday, March 3, 2008

Great Horned Owl

Between the Sax Zim Winter Birding Festival and the flue I have gotten a bit behind in my posting. I took these shots of the great horned owls nest in Lakeville, MN on Valentines Day, the day before I left for the festival.
The female was still on the nest but it is very possible that she may be tending to young now instead of eggs. I first photographed her on the nest on February 2nd and got word that she was on the nest before that. Since great horned owl eggs incubate in 30 to 35 days they have either hatched or will be hatching very soon. I know that the owl was still on the nest this weekend because Sharon Stiteler, AKA Birdchick, took a picture of the nest on Saturday.
The male was around on the 14th also. His job is to provide the female and young, once they have hatched, with food. Even though the nest is located in a quickly developing area there are enough fields around to provide adequate hunting grounds for this growing family. The typical fair is most likely rabbit or squirrel but can also include rodents, birds and skunks. Most birds, except vultures and some others, have a very poor sense of smell which is why the great horned owl is the skunks only serious predator.

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