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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nellie gets dinner.

Looking for a napkin.

If they get hot, their feathers fluff out a little.

Can you find Nellie?

If I close my eyes, you can't see me.

Nellie is waiting for another mouse.

Good to the last tail.

I am watching you.

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Last week, I heard Nellie and her new mate hooting back and forth so I set up the camera, set up the mouse on the platform and called Nellie with Rob's whistle.  She came very quickly and I'm not sure if she saw the mouse or heard the whistle.  I still cannot verify that is it Nellie as her fur is still covering up the band but I don't think too many owls are this tame and put up with me being so close and taking photographs.  She stayed in the back yard for well over an hour. Part of the time staring at the platform and waiting for another mouse. The rest of the time she sat in the trees watching every movement and deciding whether it was prey she could catch.  We heard what we assume is her new mate last night around 11 and he has the strangest hoot.  He does the call but fizzles out at the end.  It's almost comical because it;s like, "Hoo-hoo-HOO-oooooooo yeah, whatever.

We still notice that Nellie is eating the mouse herself so we assume their are no babies. None have been reported and by now, you would hear them crying and see them learning to fly and hunt in Edgehill Park.

Great Horned Owl family in south Charlotte

In a county park in south Charlotte, there lives a great horned owl family. These photos were all taken in April and both babies have since left the nest. Eurasian eagle owls are the largest owls but great horned owls are second largest owls and are the only animal predators to barred owls.  Their wing span is about 5 feet (versus 4 for barred owls) and they are known as the bad ass owls and can be very aggressive.  It really is amazing that we have these creatures living in our area. Enjoy the photos.
Copyright Marsha Gaspari
Baby great horned owl-last day in the nest

First day out of the nest.

Do you know the OMG cat? This is the OMG owl.
Babies about 6 weeks old. So fluffy!

So ferocious yet adorable.

Notice the wing striations.

Although a baby, look at the talons.

Mom is alway nearby and often tired.

Mom standing guard over her babies.

Hunkered down in the nest.

Mom giving the stink eye.