Saturday, March 11, 2017

Owl Babies! Great Horned Owl Nesting at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge

We're at that brief moment in time between the hatching of Great Horned Owl chicks and the leafing out of  the trees in which they build their nests. It seemed to be a good time to go check out the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, so we headed there yesterday to see who was around.
We weren't disappointed! On the south section of the auto-tour we could see a large nest and the bird atop the nest had the characteristic "horns" of a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). We couldn't allow ourselves the hope of even seeing the chicks, but as we zoomed in we could make out gray balls of fuzz.
From a different angle we could clearly see two chicks. If they would just turn around!
And they did! I would love to have achieved some close up shots but no one wants to disturb the nestlings, and we weren't allowed out of the car anyway. Just the same, it was a neat moment on a fine day.

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