Momma Great Horned Owl Blasting Out Of The Nest

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Momma Great Horned Owl Blasting Out Of The Nest

This Great Horned Owl mom had just fed her young family in the tree stump, after which she jumped to the edge, looked around for a couple of minutes, and then shot out of the nest flying directly towards me. I am smitten by her — her power and fierceness and her beauty, combined with her tenderness and protectiveness towards her babies. You can see a little wing flapping by the owlets back in the tree stump.

One of the most common owls in North America, the Great Horned Owl is often seen in Colorado, and its deep hoots may be heard rolling through the air on mid-winter nights. With their long, earlike tufts, penetrating yellow-eyed stare, and deep hooting voice, Great Horned Owls are the owls of storybooks. These owls nest very early here — in January — and as a result the babies are already getting big in April. These powerful predators can take down birds and mammals even larger than themselves, but they also dine on daintier fare such as tiny scorpions, mice, and frogs. This owl is equally at home in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.

Photo taken in Boulder, Colorado, on May 4, 2019

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