Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Give a Hoot, the male, and the Owlets (Great Horned Owls) 05-03-21


Give a Hoot, the male, and the Owlets
Great Horned Owls
This past week-end was the first time I didn’t go out and at least check on the owls, since I found Hoot, the female, on the nest on 03-09-21. Many days I have spend around 3 hours with them. I do a lot of biking and this week-end I had a couple longer rides out of Hudson, WI, so I didn’t go out to check on them after I got home. Saturday night it was very warm and there was some rain Sunday night.
Earlier today, Monday, 05-03-21, I looked from a distance and I didn’t see the owlets on the nest or nearby. Later on in the afternoon with my gear in my backpack I went looking for the Great Horned Owls. First, I checked around the nest and didn’t see Hoot or the owlets around. 
Then it was time to take a little walk. I found Give a Hoot perched in a tree where I have found him in the past. It was an extremely windy day and he was getting blown around. In fact he lost his balance at one point which I was able to get a shot.
I thought if Give a Hoot was in this area that Hoot and the owlets had to be somewhere nearby. While I was photographing him I would look around. I eventually spotted the owlets off in the distance. I moved my tripod a few feet to get some long shots of them. After I got a few photos I moved the tripod closer to them while only 10 yards from Give a Hoot. He went about his business of trying to stay upright on the branch while I photograph the owlets.
The owlets were also having issues staying upright in the strong winds. I spent 1 1/2 hours with the owls this afternoon. Once I was done photographing I packed up my camera gear into my backpack. I was just about ready to leave when I saw Give a Hoot look to his left. I looked that direction when I saw Hoot, the female, flying low coming between us. She flew no more than 5 yards from me, but she kept going. I never saw her while I was out in the woods, but there were some people in the general area that caused her to fly off.
Here are my images…some of the images were shot with my 500mm f/4 lens with my 1.4x teleconverter (700mm) and to get both owlets in the frame when they were perched on different branches I used only the 500 mm lens.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Give a Hoot, the male Great Horned Owl... 04-29-21


On Thursday, 04-29-21, I went out to look for either Hoot, the female, or Give a Hoot, the male, Great Horned Owl to photograph. I wasn’t planning to sit out and watch the owlets tonight, but first I would check to see if Hoot was perched near the nest and to take a daily photo of the owlets. Hoot was perched next to the owlets, so that meant that I was only looking for Give a Hoot.
I located Give a Hoot perched behind some branches. I took some photos from that vantage point, then packed up my gear to walk to another area to get a better view. I made a very wide semi-circle around him so that I could photograph him from the front.
It was a very windy day and Give a Hoot was leaning into the wind most of the time I was with him.
I had been out about a half hour when I saw Give a Hoot become alert and he look to his right. While I was taking some video of him, Hoot flew to a tree only 10 yards away. She was perched behind some branches so I swung the camera to her while recording the video. She stayed for a couple minutes before flying off. I saw the general area where she flew to, but there were too many leaves on the trees that I couldn’t see exactly where she landed so I stayed and photographed Give a Hoot. I was with him for 3 hours. After Give a Hoot fully woke up he turned around on the branch and went through a short wake up routine. Eventually, I realized he wasn’t going anywhere soon, so I packed up my camera gear and left.
While I walked out I looked for Hoot, but I didn’t find her. 
Here are some images of Give a Hoot…


Great Horned Owlets… 04-28-21

Great Horned Owlets…
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, 04-28-21, I heard several crows mobbing either Hoot, the female, or Give a Hoot, the male, Great Horned Owls. I could see the crows in the distance, but I couldn’t see either owl.
I went back out later in the afternoon with my gear with the intentions of finding either adult to get some photos, then go to the nest. I couldn’t locate either owl, so I went to the nest.
It was a warm afternoon and the owlets were doing some gular fluttering to cool themselves off from the heat of the sun. 
Since it was another warm afternoon this brought out lots of other “activity” in the vicinity of the nest, so the owlets stayed mostly inactive until shortly before sunset. 
I heard Hoot make one squawk call before I saw her fly to about 20 yards of the nest 10 minutes after sunset. Once mom flew in closer and made a few more squawk calls the owlets got much more active. They started branching and flying.
A few minutes later I was taking off my teleconverter when Hoot flew to the nest. I’m pretty sure she must have delivered some food. Hoot will check up on the owlets at a distance, but will usually only come to the nest if she has food for them. Both owlets returned to the nest just before Hoot flew off.
The owlets didn’t stay in the nest long before they were off branching and flying again. I decided to pack up my gear a little before 2100 hrs. 
When I walked out I got a different perspective on how far one of the owlets flew tonight and it looked be be close to 10 yards.



Give a Hoot, the male, and the Owlets (Great Horned Owls) 04-27-21

Give a Hoot, the male, and the Owlets
Great Horned Owls
My plan for today, Tuesday, 04-27-21, was to sit out and observe the Great Horn Owlets, but the forecast was for rain in the afternoon. Because it was going to rain there wouldn’t be any activity taking place at the nest.
Earlier today I saw one owlet sitting up tall on the nest. I didn’t see the second one, but it was probably lying low in the nest. I didn’t see Hoot either, but I was a distance away and I didn’t have my binoculars with me.
Since it was supposed to rain in an hour or so I decided to only go and take a daily photo of the owlets. I didn’t think I would need a rain jacket. I found both owlets on the nest and Hoot was perched above them. I took a photo of the owlets, but mom was too hidden to get a photo.
On my way out I decided to check the area where I’ve seen Give a Hoot, the male, a few times in the past. I found him sleeping. There was a small branch right in front of him, and there was no way I could work around it to get a clear shot. I’m sure he didn’t want to fully wake up and give me a better photo opportunity either. So this is the best shot I would get of Give a Hoot today. While taking the shot it started to rain. I quickly packed up and walked back out getting wet. I guess I should have brought that rain jacket.


Hoot and the Owlets (Great Horned Owls) 04-26-21


Hoot and the Owlets
Great Horned Owls
On Monday, 04-26-21, I went out to sit out with the Great Horned Owls just after the last line of rains went through the area. I was all set up by 1715 hours.
Hoot, the female, was perched next to one of the owlets who was sitting in the nest. The other owlet was perched in a branch above the nest, but I could barely see it.
One crow flew in and landed above the nest, then another one arrived just as the first crow started it’s calling for more crows. I’m sure Hoot knew the top owlet was vulnerable to an attack. Hoot immediately flew off leading the crows away from the nest at 1729 hrs. 
Fifteen minutes later the top owlet moved up the branch so at least I could see it now, although there was a very distracting branch in front of it.
It stayed there until 1817 hrs when it went back down to the nest. Both owlets spent a considerable amount of time sleeping. One of the owls slept lying down while the other upright. 
The crows were bothering Hoot on and off for a considerable amount of time, but once they disappeared Hoot started making squawks to the owlets. These squawks are contact calls with the owlets to let them know she’s around.
When both owlets finally woke up they both eventually headed to the top of the tree. 
It wasn’t until 2013 hrs that I saw Hoot fly in closer to the nest so she could get a visual on them and me. She stayed for a couple minutes then flew off from where she came. Now that the crows were gone she could do some hunting.
I left the area at 2030 hrs.