Posted by: atowhee | March 24, 2016


Earlier this month I was birding near Merced and met Salvatore Salerno, president of his local Audubon chapter and a dedicated birder.  Somehow we started talking Great Gray Owls–as I was en route to Oakhurst to talk to the Audubon Society there about the big guys.  Coincidentally Sal and his wife took off a few days later for Oregon… and captured some great video of hunting Great Grays in the Cascades east of Ashland. They were headed to visit family, but the owls beckoned.  Here are the videos he captured:

Here is the sequence from Salvatore’s Vimeo site:
The pair preening one another’s facial discs is a mated pair that will likely attempt to nest this year.  The winter has been wet so there should be plenty of food for small mammals and thus a good spur to eggs and nestlings.
The video of the owl swallowing its prey is typical.  They swallow their small prey whole, not pulling it apart as other predators must do with larger meals.  Great Gray Owls eat only small prey, nearly all mammals.


  1. […] Click for link to that blog. […]

  2. […] we went on the Great Gray Owl field trip led by Harry Fuller, a retired journalist, co-author of Great Gray Owl of California, Oregon and Washington, and full-time birder who has specialized in the tallest owl in North America.  As our group […]

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