Sunday, April 15, 2018

Great Horned Owl Nestling in the Mother Lode Foothills

A few weeks back we were taking some back roads to Merced Falls to check on the Osprey nests. It was just a day or so after one of the intense thunderstorms that hit the region in March. The storm caused widespread flooding and several bridges were washed out (many haven't been repaired yet). We had to turn off our route because of one of the washouts, and passed what we thought was yet another hawk nest. But in the rear view mirror I saw the unmistakable profile of a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), and stopped to make sure.
Momma Owl flew off, but we had a look at the nestling. Today, we were driving the same road and noted that the young nestling was a fair bit bigger and a bit more curious about the goings-on in the world outside the nest. We didn't see momma today, but the baby is looking pretty healthy.

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