Well I sure was thrilled to see this beautiful lady on my way home today. This Great Horned Owl nest and its occupants have become a fixture in my area and a common photo subject over the past few years.
Recent “improvements” of the open space where they live by the county over the winter had me worried that the pair might choose to move elsewhere. Thankfully they appear to have not only chosen to stay but mama appears to already be keeping some eggs warm.
I did my best to find her spouse, named Houdini by my friend, but had no luck. No doubt he wasn’t far away though. With any luck, you will be seeing many more pictures of them in the coming months.
This beautiful lady is Sophie. She was rescued after suffering a broken wing and unfortunately cannot fly well enough to live in the wild. Now she serves as an ambassador for a local wildlife group. Because I have plenty of Great Horned Owl pics, I didn’t spend too much time photographing her at a workshop last month but she was beautiful.
Notably was her coloring that was darker than the Great Horned Owls we have here in Colorado. This is because she is from Alaska where the owls up there tend to have darker plumage that works better for blending in with the surroundings up there. Taken in Denver, Colorado.
Very happy to have come across an old friend while out walking a nearby open space. I hadn’t seen him in a couple months but then there is a reason why my friend gave him that name as he is an escape artist. Just when you think you can get a picture, he disappears. Thankfully this past Tuesday he let me snap a few although not without being hidden in camouflage.
It has been a while since I have captured a good image of one of these guys so I was very happy to have found this one thanks to a friend pointing it out. It was quite content to sit from its perch high in a cottonwood tree and watch me as I snapped my pictures. The fall colors behind it really made for a pleasing capture and complemented the owl’s bright yellow eyes.
Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.
It has been a while since I have seen any of these so this one comes from my archives back to April 10. It isn’t too often will these cool raptors hang out in the open but on this particular day the male at a local nest seemed relatively relaxed. He gave my son and I a number of cool poses and flybys.
Here he was looking back toward the nest site, seemingly keeping a close eye on mama and his little ones.
These owls are common across all of North America and are the type of owl often depicted in storybooks. During the day they are usually sleeping but at night they come alive and hunt with amazing accuracy in the dark.
Sitting here uploading images to my online store and came across this one. This is the male from my favorite, local Great Horned Owl nest. Dad usually does his best to stay out of view but if you can find him, he usually will tolerate your presence up to a point. On this particular day back in May, he was particularly relaxed and allowed my son and I to get a good number of pics of him soon after sunrise.
I went to check out a few area Great Horned Owl nests this past Sunday, something I haven’t been able to do for far too long. Unfortunately, the young ones at two of the three must have already fledged as there were no signs of them or their parents.
However, at one, the owlet remains in the nest and the parents were more than willing to give me my fill of photo opportunities. Both Dad and Mom posed for portraits and both put on nice little aerial shows as they alternated between the nest tree and their favorite nearby stand of trees.
This image is of the female as she flew by on her way to check on her offspring. These silent fliers are very difficult to catch images of in the air as they are deceivingly fast and their low-to-the-ground, erratic flight pattern makes focusing hit or miss. Needless to say, when you do get the shot, it is a coup for the shutterbug.
Lots of new mothers in the wildlife kingdom this spring and they will be spending their Mother’s Day with their new arrivals. This cute young owlet was spending a cool, dreary morning with its mom yesterday at Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado.
Unlike most Great Horned Owl nests where there are two, three and sometimes four little ones, this one is an only child but that just mean that mama has that much more time to devote to it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s – wildlife and human!
How do you find owls? It’s as easy as X marks the spot. 😉