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slidinghills

Great Horned Owls

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For the past five years I have lived on a rural property in southwestern Alberta. Along with many other wonderful creatures, I share this space with a pair of Great Horned Owls. At times I will see or hear them almost every day for weeks on end and at other times a month will go by without sign of them. Back in mid-March I started hearing the pair hooting most evenings near the pond close to my house. On March 28, I first saw the female owl in a nest about 150 metres from my house. Over the following 47 days, I checked in on the nest almost every day and every day I would see the female resting in the nest in pretty much the exact same position. The internet told me that the incubation period is typically 30-37 days. When day 37 passed, I started to worry - maybe the very cold week we had in early April had been too much for the eggs. 8 days ago, the male started hanging out closer to the nest during the day (I only saw him a couple of times during the first 40 days). 2 days ago, the female was sitting differently in the nest. Her body was raised up a bit higher and she adjusted the position of one of her wings multiple times during the minute or so I watched her. And then, yesterday evening (day 48), mom was no longer on the nest and in her place was a tiny pile of fluffy white feathers. I could only make out one chick in the failing light. I returned this morning to find that there are actually two chicks in the nest. 

I will use this thread to post updates and photos over the course of the coming weeks. To start, here are a few photos from the past 2 months.

May 16 - Little One

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May 8 - Dad

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April 25 - Mom

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March 17 - Mom and Dad

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Fantastic!  I look forward to seeing more of your pictures and reading more about this great find!

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