Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Great Horned Owl/Wild Bird

 Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus)

I was lucky and I know it.  It was a very cold day and I suspect this great horned owl was soaking up sun for warmth. A native of North and South America, the great horned owl is said to be our most common owl, but I have rarely seen one.  By the way, it's "horns" are not dangerous. They are really tufts of feathers.

Not a fussy eater, its diet consists of rabbits, small mammals, geese, herons, reptiles, amphibians and - EW!! - skunks.

High up in a pine tree

This owl and its mate have lived in this area for a few years now.  They don't build their own nests but every year take over another animal's abandoned nest. Many local birders are trying to guess in which nest they plan to raise their young this year. Perhaps they have already moved in as nesting often begins in January or February.  For sure they are thinking about togetherness, as we spied them sharing a limb in a dense area of the forest a few days ago.
I am joining Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

55 comments:

Kate said...

What fun to be able to follow the nesting patterns of two owls!

Buttons said...

Oh I am excited too. Great shots. B

llandudnopictures said...

Another beautiful bird, this one has fantastic camouflage!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Amazing shots. The lighting is so perfect.

Rebecca said...

I have only seen owl silhouettes at night when I hear them hooting. I would love to spot one in the daylight. Lucky you!

Kerri said...

FANTASTIC!

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow. What beautiful photos. And what a beautiful bird. It blends right in with it's surroundings so well and looks like a part of the tree. Not much wonder we don't see them in the wild.

Sandra said...

that first photo he looks like a part of the tree..so beautiful it makes me happy to sit and stare at his amazing feathers...they must not be able to smell the skunk

Halcyon said...

Another beauty!

Jenny said...

He certainly blends in well with the landscape. It's always special to spot an owl. Such a handsome fellow.

Kathy said...

He is certainly well-camouflaged. I have never seen an owl in the wild! I guess I just don't look up as often as I should!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

You were indeed lucky and made the most of your encounter. Amazing how well they blend into their surroundings.

Judy said...

Such a rare sight!! I saw one once but didn't have a camera. You got some good shots of this one.

Judy said...

Looking at your photos, I can guess why I have never seen one of these in the wild. Likely I have, and thought it was part of the tree!!!
When my daughter was in her black and white phase (all her library books had to be about b/w creatures - this was before dinosaurs caught her interest), I learned that before trucks were invented, the great horned owl was the only predator of skunks!

Rose said...

How wonderful to get to photograph him. I think I seen one out at the strip pits...one time. and he was gone so quick I had no opportunity to photograph him. He was so big, well, compared to the little short-eared owls we see anything is big I guess.

Karen said...

Oh another owl! Terrific shots!

TexWisGirl said...

absolutely fabulous! beautiful!!!

Frank said...

Super images.

Carletta said...

Another owl! I am so envious!
He fits right in with his surroundings.
So glad you saw him - yes, LUCKY you!

Indrani Ghose said...

Whoa! Camouflaged so well! How did you ever spot it!

Small City Scenes said...

Boy, he's a big guy. You were lucky to get a good shot of him. MB

i stora drag said...

Fantastic photos and what perfect camouflage its feathers are!
Nice that they are living in your area. A bit lazy though? :)
Greetings Pia

Cezar and Léia said...

HE is magnificent!
:)
Léia

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How wonderful! Amazing catch and great picture! And thank you for all the horned owl info -- I didn't know that about their nesting habits!

DeniseinVA said...

How exciting to come across this beautiful owl. Your photos are great!

mick said...

Great photos of the owl and it looks amazing against that blue sky.

cieldequimper said...

When is your first book published?

Elaine said...

Fantastic capture !

Icy BC said...

That is an amazing capture, and beautiful photos too.

I would be so happy to see one!

Amanda said...

Wow!

Good camouflage, good spotting!

RedPat said...

What luck to catch this guy!

HansHB said...

A great post for WBW!
Cute owl!

Rohrerbot said...

Very nice find!!! Owls are such special birds:) Congrats!

eileeninmd said...

Great sighting and beautiful shots of the Owl. Any owl sighting is great to me!

Stephanie said...

Enjoying your owl shots!

Carver said...

Wow, fabulous shots of the owl.

Michelle said...

I love those tufts!

Dana said...

Wonderful photos! What a cool thing to discover. :)

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Great shot! So glad you spotted him with all that camouflage.

Randy said...

He looks mean.

Madge Bloom said...

Great shots... so full of details... I remember sitting in the middle of a dirt road in the Palouse, yelling, waving my arms, honking the horn and could not get an owl to budge... wah.wah.wah.

George said...

That first photo is absolutely magnificent.

Jen said...

Oh, wow. Those "horns" help him blend right in with the tree.

Stewart M said...

Wow! What a great bird. We have some large owls here, but they are proving elusive!

Splendid pictures.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

see you there! said...

Amazing shots. He looks so self satisfied somehow.

Darla

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh Wow, it is wonderful!

Gary said...

Great find. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Genie Robinson said...

So what I see is not a fat belly but lots and lots of furry feathers. What a fine specimen and what a treat to have the family nesting nearby. You are so lucky.genie

LONDONLULU said...

I love this! How fun it would be to see where the owls make their next home. Beautiful bird & captures, as always:)

Jori said...

Now way! What an awesome shot!

kelley jensen said...

you get the most awesome shots

Wally Jones said...

I feel privileged each time I see an owl. Yep, lucky you!
Very nice captures once you spotted him!

Susan said...

absolutely handsome birds. Amazing the talent you have catching these guys!

Marie said...

Fantastic! Yep, very lucky!

Snowcatcher said...

I guess it can't be said enough: You are so fortunate to be able to capture such wonderful bird and raptor portraits. The texture in the feathers (as well as the bark) in the first shot is simply magnificent.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.