A female Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) owl lifted a half-eaten bird out of the nest for her owlet...
...within seconds the baby popped up, ready for dinner! Look at that little one's mouth open up wide.
Only one of the two owlets popped up for dinner. If the other was eating, it was not visible from our angle.
...sated, the baby soon closed its eyes and slipped back down in the nest to sleep.
...but before nodding off, the owlet stretched its little wings, giving us a glimpse of the feathers just beginning to emerge from the cylindrical feather sheaths.
Owls do not build their own nests. Instead, they take over nests built by hawks, herons, crows, or even squirrels. They also will nest in hollowed-out tree cavities that are large enough, and will even take advantage of man-made platforms and other types of nests, such as this old metal tub. This tub has been at Lake Isabella for a long time and has hosted many owl families over the years!
(It was nice having Rick along with me. If he's not careful, he might lose his old blog name of Rick the Reluctant Birder!)