Friday, April 10, 2009

Mama owl, baby owls, and raindrops...

Today was Matty’s first day of spring break, and I was only at the office through the morning, so after lunch, Matty and I headed over to Lake Isabella to see the baby owls. We didn’t know if the weather would cooperate, but the rain held off just long enough to get a couple of shots. When we first arrived, mama looked very protective brooding over her young.


Then suddenly, she moved a bit, and a light grey fluffy head popped up! What a fluffball…


Let's crop it down even more for a closer look!

Even the baby owl looks like it means business!

After about 10 minutes the raindrops started to fall, so we slipped under the cover of the gazebo hoping for a passing shower, but no such luck. We were planning on stopping off at the gravel pit next, but the rain just continued to pick up, so we headed home. There is always tomorrow!

Beak Bit
I’ve been reading Wild Bird Guides, Great Horned Owl, by Dwight G. Smith off and on for the past couple of weeks and recently read that the mama does all the brooding of the baby owls. When the babies hatch, they are blind and weak and are not able to stand. Their eyes do not fully open until the ninth or tenth day. They rely entirely on the mama for survival. The papa is in charge of bringing food to the nest, where mama tears the food into small pieces and gently places one piece at a time into the babies’ mouths.

22 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

Is there more than one or could you tell? Cute little fluffball is right, but s/he looks like they could eat you for dinner!

Kallen305 said...

So cute!!!! You are so lucky to have them in an area where you can observe their progress. Very cool.

Cicero Sings said...

Though I'm sure we have owls in our area, we have never seen any evidence of them. I think you are so fortunate to have a nest to observe!

Kelly said...

Laure...according to Susan at Susan Gets Native, she and her friend saw two. I only got to see one of them. Hopefully we will get back next week. They grow so fast!

Kim...I know! We have herons, owls, and eagles (they are about an hour away...I'm shooting for next week to visit them).

Cicero...it's so cool, and we are definitely lucky. I've heard them outside my window, but have never seen any nests in our neighborhood (but our trees are way too small).

Richard said...

Boy did they give you the evil eye.

Love the word verification on this one...notoot.

Kelly said...

...haha...funny! Yes, Richard...if that's not an evil eye, I don't know what is. I do love those eyes of theirs, though. I stand so far away, but she's very wary of anything moving.

Kathy said...

Kelly how lucky can you get. Baby birds are always so cute. I did not know that baby owls were born blind. Glad the mama didnt get agressive with you all being so close to the nest.

Warren Baker said...

What a great place to nest. They dont care who see's do they!

Jayne said...

How lucky were you to get to see and photograph her and her chick! So very sweet!

Kelly said...

Kathy....actually, we're not close at all. We're very far, I just crop the photos down. Even though we're far, she sees us!

Warren...they don't, It's a busy park, but they've been nesting there for a long time. My dad has been watching them on and off for years.

Jayne...this is the first year I've watched her. I do feel lucky. It will be fun to watch when they start to fledge.

Jessica said...

What I wouldn't give to see a nesting owl... or any owl in the wild for that matter. Thanks for sharing.

Ginnymo said...

What great photos!!! You are so lucky to see those owls and a baby!!! I love baby animals. I hope you can watch them grow!! I've never had the opportunity to see nests and babies....I hope we see more of this family..So cute!!!

Kelly said...

Thanks, Jessica and Ginny. I'm luck they are close enough to watch fairly often. They are about 20-25 mins top from my house (as long as the expressway is flowing smoothly!!).

The Early Birder said...

I am amazed that this nest is so open - I hope it has appropriate drainage!

E said...

All the pics so beautiful and interesting, Kelly, congrats, well done, thanks for sharing all the joy!
Happy Easter. :)

JRandSue said...

Fantastic photography, just love looking. Great Blog.
John.

Kelly said...

FAB...it is amazing to see this huge tub stuck up a tree, but it is and it works. It's been there for years and the owls keep coming back. Looks like there is a hole in the bottom for drainage. It's very funny to see it up there, though!!

E...thank you!! I need to see some new photos from you! Happy Easter to you too!

John...thank you very much!!

Uncommon Depth said...

How fun that someone put a tub up in the tree, and the owl actually used it! I haven't seen a Great Horned Owl in years.

Kelly said...

...the park system put it up. I think they do it in other places too to attract owls, but I'm not sure...

Linda McGeary said...

Even if they are glaring the evil eye they just make me smile.
The Owl is one of my totems.
My Dad used to have a little poem he'd say
"A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we be like that wise old bird."

I so enjoy your pictures. Now video too. And music. How did you get music on your blog? I have an imac too.
I'd love to be able to put some of my flute music on my blog.

Kelly said...

Hi Linda....thank you! If you have a Mac it's easy to get music on your machine. Using iMovie, you can attach music to the slide show. You can record your flute music directly into your Mac and then attach the file. I want to do more!!

Mary said...

How very cute and how wonderful to get to see these! What an interesting nesting site.