Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back again

Busy, busy, busy.  Missed my first year anniversery blogging on May 1, but first things must come first.  I still found time to go birding and photographing.

I have been following the progress of a Great-horned owl nest with two owlets that hatched early in April.  Last week during a strong wind, one of the owlets fell out of the nest.  Last week I found it in the crotch of a tree about 12 feet off the ground.


Above the owlet was the male or father standing guard over it about four feet above it.



As I watched from a distance, I watched as a Northern Harrier attack the chick and the male drove it off.  Meanwhile the mother and the other chick remained close to the nest.  The chick with the mother is almost twice as large as the one that fell out.

                               

Is it by design the youngsters need two parents?  Could the one with the mother be larger because of the nurturing?  I watched as a snow shower came through.  The mother climbed in the nest to protect it while the male did not protect the other one.  I did not see either one of the chicks being fed, but does the mother have the ability to feed better than the male.

Just some thoughs about life and studying in the wilds in Idaho.

11 comments:

Shirleyanne said...

Good to see you back Bill.
Interesting post with regard to the Owls. I claim never to have seen one in its natural surroundings, let alone watch the progression of a family of them, but I think they are stunning birds!
Thank you for your kind comment. As you use willow yourself, yes, I'm sure you would have loved a visit to the Willows Centre. I will definitely go back again as I want complete one of their walks.

Take care Bill!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thought-provoking post this morning Bill. Thank you for sharing. I always know I'm in for a treat when a new post by you pops up on my Google Reader but I understand, as I am sure all your readers do, how much time it takes for you to get the wonderful photos you shoot.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Yes, children DO need two parents.... That is such a neat story--at least so far. Hope the little one makes it..... Keep us posted, Bill.
Betsy

Idaho Birder said...

Glad to see you back in the blogosphere Bill. Nice analysis of the GHO's. Keep up the good work! I hope you'll submit some photos for the photo competition too.

Harold Stiver said...

Thats interesting Bill. I wonder if is often only one chick that survives? The second may be just a spare, some protection in case they lose the larger chick.

Monts said...

Nice to see you back Bill and thats a lovely illustrated story of the Owls, hope all goes well with them.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Bill, heart breaking is nature sometimes. One must hunt and leave the one that is unprotected. I watched the female hawk feeding the nest chick last year, far more than the one that fell out, "basket chick". The "basket chick" actually fledged first and while smaller, I believe was a young male after all. I do hope the one in the crotch thrives. It would be a difficult maneuver to get food to it from even a caring adult. There would have been no way for the adult male to have rested upon this chick from the snow shower either, being in this position it has found itself in. Keep us posted~

Kelly said...

...interesting, Bill. I hope the baby that fell out of the nest makes it. You were able to capture wonderful photos. The eyes of the baby peering from the crotch of the tree are intense.

Mary said...

This is a captivating account, Bill. Your observational patience and skill are impressive, resulting in great photos and interesting information for all of us readers. Congrats on your blogging anniversary, and thanks for posting whenever you can.

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Gosh aren't they wonderful. Good way you could have captured them for us to share dear Bill.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Bill: Really neat shot of the owls, you really know where to find them.