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Great Horned Owl Taking Off
This adult Great Horned Owl had been sitting on the branch with his mate, and they had been whispering sweet nothings to each other for a while before they each took off. Great Horned Owls in Colorado mate and start nesting in January, and start raising their families in the dead of winter. I saw these owls in the distance, so this image is cropped and can only be printed as a relatively small print no larger than 11x14″. But remember that the wingspan you see is 4-5 feet from tip to tip when stretched out!
From Audubon’s website: “Found almost throughout North America and much of South America is this big owl. Aggressive and powerful in its hunting (sometimes known by nicknames such as ‘tiger owl’), it takes prey as varied as rabbits, hawks, snakes, and even skunks, and will even attack porcupines, often with fatal results for both prey and predator. Great Horned Owls begin nesting very early in the north, and their deep hoots may be heard rolling across the forest on mid-winter nights.”
Photo taken on February 18, 2017