Do Great Horned Owls copulate after the eggs are laid?

My husband just told me that a birding acquaintance of his told him a couple of years ago about watching a webcam set up on a Barn Owl nest. The camera showed that even after the pair’s eggs were laid, they copulated. The acquaintance, a woman, said that all the women who observed this said something to the effect of: that’s males for you! I mention this not to join in the chorus of complaints but because I said in the film I just posted about Great Horned Owls that they obviously don’t already have eggs because if they did, they wouldn’t be copulating now. They would agree with the ancient popes that sex is for reproduction. (One of my commenters observed that: “I presume the Owl Pope would approve that they’re not enjoying sex too much, with the quickest copulation imaginable.”) But suppose I was wrong about their sexual habits? Maybe they do already have eggs. Hmm.

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