This is an owl weekend for us nerds. Lori saw a lifer Long-eared Owl in Pennsylvania (not allowed to tell you exactly where due to birding ethics) while and Connie, Tara and I saw nesting Great Horned Owls AND Burrowing Owl in the same day in Florida! Good day for owls.
The Great Horned Owl pair took over the local Bald Eagle nest after the eagles abandoned it. The sad story is that the baby eagle died after eating bad food, so the eagles had no more use for the nest this year. The owls saw a great location in move-in condition and did just that. The female is sitting on eggs now while the male sits in a nearby pine tree and keeps watch. Here is the female in the nest:
She is only visible because the resident squirrel just ran around the nest to harass her. You may be wondering why a squirrel would take it's life into it's hands by harassing an owl - because the owl nest is actually built on top of the squirrel's nest! Apparently, it is a daily show. She is NOT amused.
Here are a few shots of the male owl preening in a nearby tree:
I call this one "Fur Ball". This is actually the back of the owl. He is preening his back on this shot.
I call this one "Pew, Is that me?" because it looks like the owl is smelling his arm pit.
About 5 minutes after leaving the Great Horned Owl nest, we ended up at the Burrowing Owl's well, burrow. The sad story here is that this guy had a family that ended up dead. Different stories tell the story as lawn mower accident, angry real estate agent murder, and cat attack. Any way you slice it, its sad to know that this guy is alone for the season. Here is the little guy sitting outside of the burrow today keeping tabs on the local crows:
There are no photos of the Long-eared Owl. Lori was lucky enough to see it let alone photograph it.