Had a very cool experience recently, thanks to my wonderful husband. He had noticed a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls in our area, as he was driving one day. He took me back to the site, to see if I could get some photographs of them. It was fun shooting these images as the owls were quite relaxed, in spite of our presence. Several other people stopped to see them while we were there, including a group of cyclists, and they still weren't bothered.
One owl was in the nest the whole time, most likely incubating, and you could only see the ears and every once in a while, the eyes. Too cute! The other owl was sitting perched near the nest, but outside of it. I believe it was the male sitting outside, although both the male and female incubate, because he looked smaller, and the males are smaller than the females and have a deeper voice. They could be sitting on 1-5 eggs. We'll have to be careful when their youngin's arrive as they are very protective parents and could attack us if we get too close. Yikes! Don't want that to happen. Might need a longer lens. :D
I have learned that these owls have a 5-15 year lifespan. They weight 2-5.5 lbs. and have a wingspan of 3.3-5.8 ft. They are carnivores. They eat a variety of animals such as rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, birds, falcons and even other owls. They also have a habit of eating skunks and may be the only animal to have such a desire. Better keep an eye on your domestic animals, too, if there are Great Horned Owls in your area. These owls are mostly nocturnal and hunt at night. They have a wonderful digestive system. They often swallow their prey whole and then the "left-overs", mainly bones & fur, come back up in the form of pellets. You can disect these pellets to see just what they ate for their last meal, if you have a desire to know. LOL Oh, by the way, those are not ears on top of their head, they're feathered tufts.
Hopefully, I'll soon have some owlette images to share! To see more of my Great Horned Owl images, CLICK HERE.
Isaiah 34:13-15 (New Living Translation)
"Thorns will overrun its palaces; nettles and thistles will grow in its forts.The ruins will become a haunt for jackals and a home for owls....Desert animals will mingle there with hyenas, their howls filling the night.Wild goats will bleat at one another among the ruins, and night creatures will come there to rest.There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs. She will hatch her young and cover them with her wings. And the buzzards will come, each one with its mate."