The Morning After

The owlet made it through the night…

As I walked into the wash this morning it felt remarkably cooler and I walked along the north side looking for warmth.

With the sun at my back, everything looked different.  I’m not used to having my shadow precede me.   With this unfamilar landscape, I overshot the nest and had to double back.

In this light, the main nest looked so much smaller.  I could barely see inside but no question, there were two eyes staring down at me. 

And, on the lower ledge was the small owlet that had been pushed out.  It made it through the night.

It had managed to move and shift positions without falling off the ledge, and that’s good news.    But with such a narrow ledge, it will not be able to shelter from the afternoon sun. 

Today we are expected to reach 101 in Cave Creek.

The parents were agitated and close by.

I had the dog with me which in hindsight was not a good idea.  We were a good distance from the nest, but one of the parents swooped down and attacked her. 

Because owls fly so silently, I did not realize what was happening until I heard the dog yelp and growl as she defended herself.  And all I saw was the dog running after a blurr of wings too high to reach.  I called her back.

Thank God, no harm done to either of them, but the warning was clear and so we left.

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Distressed Parents

When I went down to the wash, camera in hand to visit the babies in the Great Horned Owl’s nest, something did not sound right.  The parents were making clicking noises and as I got closer, I could hear what sounded like a dog’s bark.

It wasn’t a dog, it was the parents who were distressed about something.

In the nest stood only one of the babies.  The larger one.

The other owlet was nowhere to be seen.  Apparently it is common for the larger bird to push the smaller birds out of the nest.

My neighbour searched the ground and nearby bushes while I kept an eye out for the parents who were swooping close to us warning us to keep away.   She did not find anything and dissapointed, the two of us turned to walk back home when I spotted the second one.

This smaller owlet had been pushed out of the nest, but there was a slight ledge a few feet below where it looked like it may  have landed safely.

The ledge may or may not be high enough to keep the owlet safe from the coyotes.  But, this narrow ledge is fully exposed to the midday and afternoon sun and it topped 100 today.   This bird may need to be rescued.

I didn’t get a photo to capture the perspective.  But I plan to visit again tomorrow and I hope to keep you posted.  Thanks for visiting.

 

 

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Babies…

Yesssss, there are two fledgelings tucked safely in the side of the cliff.  It seems a bit early for them to be so big.  The weather changes may have something to do with it.

The angle of the sun is not ideal but I did not want to use the flash.

The parents were not far away.  They  were nervous to have me so close to the nest and I did not linger long because there were much better photos to be had.

For those of you who have never heard a Great Horned Owl, check out this awsome post by Greg Clark with a sound recording of the owls hooting.

Did I mention that I love Cave Creek Arizona?

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