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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
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Great Horned Owl

Shhh! There’s that guy with the camera again!

“Shhh! There’s that guy with the camera again!” This Great Horned Owl owlet and its siblings were intent on making finding them quite difficult once they fledged. Took me a number of passes through a stand of cottonwood trees near their nest for me to find them as they do a pretty darned good job hiding. It was a lot of fun to watch them grow up and leave the nest. Hopefully mom and dad will be back next spring. Taken May 18, 2014 in Thornton, Colorado.

A Great Horned Owl owlet peeks from behind a tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Horned Owl owlet peeks from behind a tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Um. Hello? You’re interrupting my naptime!

This male Great Horned Owl is regularly spotted in one of a few different trees at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Needing a break from work, I took a quick drive through at lunchtime today and there he was as usual.Given that he likely was up all night, he was pretty tired and could barely open one eye to look at me.

The Great Horned Owl resides year-round in all but the farthest north parts of North America.  You can learn more about this amazing predator here.

A male Great Horned Owl opens one eye to see what is going on. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Great Horned Owl opens one eye to see what is going on. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Magpie Harasses a Great Horned Owl

“Go away, little bird!”  This poor owl simply wanted to sit and relax but the magpie was refusing to share its tree.  The interaction between the two was fun to watch with the smaller bird pestering the big one.  Eventually the owl took off in search of a quieter, hassle-free, tree.  Taken May 12, 2014 in Thornton, Colorado.

A Magpie shows no fear in trying to chase off a Great Horned Owl. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Magpie shows no fear in trying to chase off a Great Horned Owl. (© Tony’s Takes)

Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!

Great Horned Owlet this past Sunday in Thornton, Colorado.  This is one of the owlets I have been documenting in recent weeks and it won’t be long before it and its sibling are gone.  Just in the past week they have moved from the tree with the nest to a separate stand of trees about 25 yards away.

“Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!” (© Tony’s Takes)

The Chase: Great Horned Owl versus Magpie

As you may have heard on the news, parts of Colorado were hit by a somewhat unusual May snowstorm yesterday. In its wake I figured I would go check on the local owl nest and see how the little ones were doing.

As it turns out, the three owlets weathered the storm (pun intended) just fine. While I was observing them I heard a commotion coming from a nearby tree and saw a lot of movement.  On further inspection I see mama or daddy owl being hassled by a rather persistent magpie that did not appreciate the big bird’s presence.

I captured a few shots of them sniping at each other and then the owl took flight with the magpie chasing it. Captured a few shots of the chase. Unfortunately they didn’t come out as sharp as I would have liked but it was pretty cool to see nevertheless. 

“The Chase.” A magpie chases a great horned owl. © Tony’s Takes

Saturday photo shoot turns into a veritable hawk fest

My usual Saturday morning wildlife viewing started out quite slow.  A drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal yielded little more than a curious deer but after heading north and east, hawks and owls clearly became the dominant subject.

Swainson’s Hawks were plentiful in the area north of Denver International Airport with many of them being more than willing to pose for me.  Most notably was a pair ‘caught in the act’ mating on a fence.

From there I headed to a known Great Horned Owl’s nest to check on the family.  The three owlets who aren’t too small anymore had worked themselves out of the nest and were lower in the tree.  Dad and Mom kept a watchful eye from nearby.

A female Swainson's Hawk flies by. © Tony’s Takes

A female Swainson’s Hawk flies by. © Tony’s Takes

 

Great Horned Owl nests begin running out of room

As we get further into spring, wildlife becomes much more active – in more ways than one.  Most area Great Horned Owls have seen their eggs hatch and the owlets are getting bigger by the day as I saw at two different nests.

There are two nests that I have been observing near where I live in Adams County, Colorado.  For the first time in a couple of weeks I stopped by for a visit and was amazed at how quickly the owlets are growing.

At one nest, things are getting quite cramped for mama and her two offspring.  At another with three “little” ones, there is no room and two of them were camped out on a nearby branch.

“You lookin’ at me?” A young great horned owl was giving me the eye this morning. You can see mama behind it. There was another owlet in the nest as well but it was hunkered down out of sight. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

“Why is everyone looking at me?” That is almost what I was thinking as I took an evening drive to check out a nearby owl ‘s nest. Mama and two of her young were intently checking me out. There was a third but it was down in the nest behind them. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Look hoooo I found

Checking out a nearby Great Horned Owl’s nest I captured Dad out for a morning flight yesterday. He is pretty elusive and doesn’t want to let you get close but at least gave me a couple nice flybys.

As for the nest, Mama was in it with at least a couple owlets. Unfortunately the nest is quite high in a tree and difficult to get decent pictures of. As the owlets get bigger they will start venturing to the edge of the nest and I can hopefully get some better shots then.

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

A male Great Horned Owl takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Great Horned Owl takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hawk quest (and a few other critters)

My son and I headed out this morning for a quick photo tour of some of our usual haunts.  This included the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding area.

At the Arsenal it was pretty much standard fare with the bison being the most notable.  Just to the north we came across a hawk that was kind enough to give us a few very nice flybys.

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

A juvenile red-tailed hawk staged a flyby while keeping an eye on us.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile red-tailed hawk staged a flyby while keeping an eye on us. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Hoo hoo turned the wind on?

I made a quick drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal today and found this guy taking a nap. Well, at least he was trying. The wind was gusting pretty bad and he was rocking a bit with it and partially opening his eyes each time.

I’m glad to finally get a decent picture of an owl – something that has eluded me.

A great horned owl was trying his best to take a nap despite howling wind. (© Tony’s Takes)

A great horned owl was trying his best to take a nap despite howling wind. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here