Posted by: atowhee | July 1, 2014


Last evening I watched the Great Gray Owl nest I blogged earlier (near Grizzly Peak, Jackson County). This time I clearly saw both owlets at the same time. Mother owl had moved off the nest. For most of the time the owlets were stretching, looking about, peeping occasionally. One climbed onto the edge of the nest for a brief time. The older one is several days ahead of the younger as is typical with owlets who are NOT born on the same day. They hatch in the same sequence in which the eggs are laid. It appears it will be a few days before the larger owlet is reading to branch out and leave the nest. We observers have placed several leaners against nearby tree trunks to help the owlets climb back up after they parachute from the nest. GGOwlets always fledge long before they can fly so they have to use hook and ladder (beak and feet) to climb back to safety.
The adult owl was about twenty feet away in another tree, facing the nest. She kept an eye toward me but mostly on the nestlings. She looked around some but not a single other large creature intruded on the quiet. Even flying insects were sparse. Far off a couple Western Tanagers carried on a treetop singing duel. Red-breasted Nuthatches honked but never appeared. baby owl

ggo full owl (1280x960)

ggo fullength

ggo sharp1

ggo tapers

ggo-long tail (1280x960)

ggo-side vu (1280x960)

P2060248 (1280x960)

P2060299 (1280x960)
About 725pm the female grew restless and flew to a few other perches, slightly further off but all within view of the nest. It appeared this was exercise. She did not approach the ground nor appear to be listening for prey. The GGO’s short flights all follow a similar pattern. They seem to fall off the branch with huge wings immediately opened. Then as they approach a landing spot, they fold the wings, causing the bird to swoop upward to a new perch.
The observation lasted from 6pm until 8pm. No sign or sound of the male GGO.

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