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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another Great Horned Owl on the nest

Yesterday I re-checked two locations where Great Horned Owls had successfully nested last year. I had checked these previously without success. At the first nest, one that is inside a tall stump, I found the Great Horned Owl in these pics. I want to admit that I took these pics closer than I would usually do and that is because this stump is only about 50 feet from a well-used trail (though I took these pics from about 80-90 feet away and with my telephoto lens). So this owl has accomodated to humans fairly nearby.

Nevertheless, I left my dogs in the car and was very quiet so as not to disturb her. As these pics show, she continued to rest with her eyes almost closed (I don't think it's possible to ascertain if she was sleeping) and she did not move about (these pics were from different angles). As can be seen, this owl blends in to the stump quite well, thus avoiding detection. I also want to note that I was very careful to not let others see me watching the owl or taking pictures. Why? If many people know she is there, there is a good chance that a nest failure could occur when people unknowingly approached too close disturbing her. And there is also the chance that some less nice people might intentionally harass or try to harm her (people still shoot owls). So I believe that the first rule of birding (and of bird photography) is to do no harm; and with nesting raptors that includes not revealing their location.

The other nest site was vacant but I found an occupied nest about a quarter mile away. I listened to this female and her partner sing to each other, and duet (sing overlapping songs) a little. SeEtta


Save trees in the Boreal forest for birds, not for paper--Opt out of catalogues

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

  • Blogarama - The Blog Directory