I visited the great horned owl nest again on Wednesday of this week, to discover the baby out of the nest, and up high in the tree. It’s feathers had started to turn from the grey we’ve seen in the past, to the rich brown of a mature bird. I’m not sure if the little guy flew up where he was perched, or if he walked up the branches. My guess is that he flew the short distance to practice his flying for the first time. The locals all said that it was the first time they had seen him leave the nest. It was a beautiful day, with a blue sky, although it was quite windy. It made for great pictures though. The only drawback is that the sun was quite harsh for lighting. I arrived late in the day around 4PM thinking it wouldn’t be so harsh, but I was wrong. Oh well?! 🙂
A security guard stopped to check out the owl when he noticed he wasn’t in the nest. He told me a story about seeing one evening, a coyote scratching at the base of the tree with the nest, and the mother swooping in to attack the coyote. The coyote ran off yelping as the owl made all kinds of “god awful” sounds in her attack. Man, I wish I could have camped out there overnight just once to see the mother or father. I never did get to see them.
Today I received word that Bubo has left the nest and the nesting tree, and that no one could find him in nearby trees or perched anywhere else. Could he have fledged the nest so early? So early after branching for the first time? The parent owls usually keep caring the the fledglings for up to 10 weeks. I hope Bubo does well! It’s likely that Bubo will not return next year, although his parents might. So enjoy the video and the photographs.
And now I’d like to take a moment to thank both Sue and Tsumi. Tsumi for being the liaison between his roommate Sue and I, and Sue for arranging security access to the nesting site for me so that I could photograph Bubo. Thanks to both of you!