Posted by: atowhee | June 18, 2020


Our birding trip sponsored by the Malheur Field Station found Great Horned Owl families in three locations: refuge headquarters, P Ranch and Benson Pond.  The youngsters were still not quite in mature plumage and may still be dependent on adults for some or all of their meals.

The first five pictures were taken in the large cottonwoods west of  Benson Pond, adult and juvie (there were at least  two there).  The sixth shows fledgling at headquarters reaching up to scratch its itchy face. Note the already formidable talons.

These three images are from P Ranch:

Yes. that adult image is not too great, face hidden…but then the bird flew into a dense willow thicket, even worse for photographers:

One comment, about a placed we didn’t visit this trip: In addition to those you mentioned, there was a family of three GHOW nesting in the Peter French Round Barn. Perhaps technically not on the Refuge, I found it fascinating that they would rest in such a popular place with high human traffic. The nest there was right in the rafters of the central pillar of the round barn. Roosting near the nest were the father, mother and one owlet, not yet fledged. Photos are in my eBird report from the Round Barn on Saturday, June 13.
–Gerry Meenaghan, Eugene

Here’s the last Field Station birding trip for 2020:   Sept. 12(Sat)-Sept. 18(Fri)
This trip will allow us to spend a full day in the Steens where we will go to the peak at just under 10,000 feet elevation.  In the late summer we may get access to areas closed during breeding season.  There may be migrating raptors passing through the valley and mountains.  While many insectivorous birds will be gone there will also be songbirds on migration including huge numbers of White-crowned Sparrows and their cousins from several species.

Mammals possible on trips include: Belding’s ground squirrel, pronghorn, wild horses, mink, river otter, long-tailed weasel, badger, coyote, mule deer, yellow-bellied marmot, kit fox, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, bats, California ground squirrel. 

Arrive for dinner on the 12th, depart after breakfast on the 18th. To get more information or sign up for these trips, call the Malheur Field Station at (541) 493-2629.Summer Birds 2020


  1. […] Out Harney Lake Road were some big birds.  One cliff had Golden Eagles, the next one Prairie Falcon.  In first pica juvie is on the left, parent on the right.  Then two young falcon on a cliff face, one watching, the other preening at sunset.Ruddy Duck family at Buena Vista:Click here to see blog on Great Horned Owls at Malheur, young now flying well, being a few months ol… […]

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