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
What fun to be able to follow the nesting patterns of two owls!
Oh I am excited too. Great shots. B
Another beautiful bird, this one has fantastic camouflage!
Amazing shots. The lighting is so perfect.
I have only seen owl silhouettes at night when I hear them hooting. I would love to spot one in the daylight. Lucky you!
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.
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
He certainly blends in well with the landscape. It's always special to spot an owl. Such a handsome fellow.
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!
You were indeed lucky and made the most of your encounter. Amazing how well they blend into their surroundings.
Such a rare sight!! I saw one once but didn't have a camera. You got some good shots of this one.
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!
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.
Oh another owl! Terrific shots!
absolutely fabulous! beautiful!!!
Another owl! I am so envious!
He fits right in with his surroundings.
So glad you saw him - yes, LUCKY you!
Whoa! Camouflaged so well! How did you ever spot it!
Boy, he's a big guy. You were lucky to get a good shot of him. MB
Fantastic photos and what perfect camouflage its feathers are!
Nice that they are living in your area. A bit lazy though? :)
HE is magnificent!
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!
How exciting to come across this beautiful owl. Your photos are great!
Great photos of the owl and it looks amazing against that blue sky.
When is your first book published?
Fantastic capture !
That is an amazing capture, and beautiful photos too.
I would be so happy to see one!
Good camouflage, good spotting!
What luck to catch this guy!
A great post for WBW!
Very nice find!!! Owls are such special birds:) Congrats!
Great sighting and beautiful shots of the Owl. Any owl sighting is great to me!
Enjoying your owl shots!
Wow, fabulous shots of the owl.
I love those tufts!
Wonderful photos! What a cool thing to discover. :)
Great shot! So glad you spotted him with all that camouflage.
He looks mean.
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.
That first photo is absolutely magnificent.
Oh, wow. Those "horns" help him blend right in with the tree.
Wow! What a great bird. We have some large owls here, but they are proving elusive!
Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW
Stewart M - Melbourne
Amazing shots. He looks so self satisfied somehow.
Oh Wow, it is wonderful!
Great find. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
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
I love this! How fun it would be to see where the owls make their next home. Beautiful bird & captures, as always:)
Now way! What an awesome shot!
you get the most awesome shots
I feel privileged each time I see an owl. Yep, lucky you!
Very nice captures once you spotted him!
absolutely handsome birds. Amazing the talent you have catching these guys!
Fantastic! Yep, very lucky!
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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