Great Horned Owlet Survives a Fall

This Great Horned Owlet gives up a smooth horizontal limb for a steep one covered in twigs. Why?

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Great Horned Owlet Falls from Limb

If this one minute video proves anything, it’s that a Great Horned Owlet might as well be on a narrow skating rink as on a Sycamore branch.

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Great Horned Owlet: Nearly Ready to Leave the Nest

The appendages on the sides of the Great Horned Owlet changed from downy elbows to magnificent wings in just nine days. And he’s learning as fast as he’s growing.

(YouTube is messing with me by not putting a photo from the film on this one, but believe me, the movie plays and the owl has impressive wings.)

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Great Horned Owlet tries his wings

All winter and spring, I’ve followed the pair of Great Horned Owls that have nested in our neighborhood for the last eight years. This year, I filmed them copulating but then found the abandoned egg on the floor of the woods–failed nesting. I was so disappointed. But a month and a half laterI was ¬†delighted to learn that they had found a different nesting site and that they had an owlet there. Last week I posted a snippet of the owlet with a parent peering over its shoulder. Today, another snippet: he’s less downy, he’s out of the nest and he’s trying his wings.

You can see all my movies on my YouTube channel: Jo Alwood

Great Horned Owlet scrutinizes a human

I was as much an object of scrutiny as this owlet and its parent were.

The local Great Horned Owls have nested in the same Sycamore for eight years now, and they tried again in February. That nesting failed. On March 9th, I found the egg on the ground, opened it and saw the fetus. Now, on April 20th, I filmed their baby in a pine tree a block from the old nesting site. I’m no expert on owlets and can’t judge this one’s age. All I know for sure is that I’m going to keep an eye and a camera on that nesting site so I can film him when he’s ready to fledge. Maybe by then, he’ll be used to seeing me around, hmm?
I filmed last year’s Great Horned Owlet (as well as a Screech Owl). Two months ago, I posted a movie showing our Great Horned Owls copulating.
You can see all my movies on my YouTube channel: Jo Alwood

Do birds remove from the nest eggs that aren’t going to hatch?

I ask because the Great Horned Owls that have nested in the woods in back of our house these last eight winters have a failed nesting this year. We observed them mating (in fact, I filmed them once in late January), but the activity around their nesting site all but halted by mid-February. Then, on March 6th, I found a Great Horned Owl egg about a hundred feet from their nest. When I opened the egg, I found a blob filling half the cavity. It wasn’t developed: no discernible appendages or features.
I think I’ve read that birds remove eggs that aren’t viable, but I searched the internet and couldn’t find confirmation of that. If you can confirm my suspicion, I’d love to hear from you. The mystery of that egg sitting a hundred feet from the Sycamore is nagging me.