SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Update on Great Horned Owl on nest in Pueblo area

Just a brief update on the Great Horned Owl (and her partner) that is on the nest in the Pueblo area that I have been following. I stopped to check on them yesterday. When I first arrived I saw her perched in a pretty upright fashion but there were people close by and I did not want to give away her location. Owls on the nest are sitting targets for harassment as females will often stay on the nest when in danger, and if they do leave this can expose eggs or nestlings to weather that can be fatal to them. And owls are large enough that many people, once they are told how to spot them, can see them without binoculars, and they are large enough for target practice.

The only time I would give away the location of a nesting owl would be if the nest was in a sufficiently protected location that mischievous persons could not harass or shoot them. Indeed that situation presented itself to me several years ago when there was a nest across the river and on private property across from the Canon City Riverwalk. It was delightful to be able to show others the nest and the owls through my spotting scope.

Anyway, the photo I got isn't great as the light was fading and the female was laying down across the nest with her head just above the nest material, but by double-clicking on it the owl is easier to see. The male (in the top pic), as before, was perched nearby--maybe 150 feet away when I was there yesterday. He is such a handsome fellow-be sure to double-click on his pic to fully appreciate him (though I took the photo from about 40 feet below I did not flush him off his perch, an outcome I would consider disruptive and not appropriate; in fact, most of time I was there he was looking elsewhere) While I was in the area, the male and female hooted back and forth several times, presumably making "contact calls."

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