Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hoot and the Gang (Great Horned Owls) 04-09-21

 There was a light rain falling Friday morning, 04-09-21, when I went out to do my daily check of Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets.

While I was a little ways from the nest I thought one of the owlets was already branching. It was earlier than I thought, since I figured it was going to happen next week. When I got closer I realized it was Hoot perched next to the nest.  The branch she was perched on was the branch she would jump to just before flying off the nest. Maybe she’s keeping those two crazy kids from falling out of the nest before it was time.

I took a couple shots of them before packing up the camera to go find Give a Hoot, the male. Yesterday when I found him he was sleeping. Today was no different just in a different area. I set up my tripod with my camera and lens. He didn’t even bother to open his eyes to look at me while I was there. I took a couple photos of him while he was perched on the same branch as a couple days ago when he let out a big yawn. Well, that was my action shot for the day. I’ll come back later when the adults are awake.




I went back out to visit with Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and the gang in the afternoon on Friday, 04-09-21. Earlier in the morning both Hoot and Give a Hoot, the male, were sleeping so I wanted to go back out to get some more video of Give a Hoot.

When I got to the nest I saw the two owlets were awake. Hoot had changed her position and was now perched above the nest. I took a few photos before moving on to look for Give a Hoot.

Give a Hoot wasn’t perched in the same tree where he was sleeping this morning. I checked around and found him in a slightly different area. He was a distance away from me across a body of water facing the wrong direction…for me.

It didn’t look like I would get any video of Give a Hoot, but decided to put on my 2.0x teleconverter with my Nikon 500mm f/4 lens to see what shots I could get from my distance. After taking some photos from the side I walked through some shallow water to his front. Although, I was closer to him there were a couple distracting thin branches in front of his body for a clean shot. I would need my canoe to mover any closer to him. I was standing in about 6 inches of water and didn’t have the correct boots on to stand there for a couple hours.

I walked by Hoot and her owlets on way out of the woods. I’ll come back another day for some more video.

Here are the images as described in the narrative…







Hoot and the Gang... (Great Horned Owls) 04-08-21

 On Thursday, 04-08-21, I went out to check on Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her owlets. By the time I got to the nest there was a light rain falling.

I got a couple shots of the two owlets in the nest while Hoot remained hidden in the cedar tree above the nest, but I’m sure with a watchful eye.

While I was there I decided to look for Give a Hoot, the male. It didn’t take me long to find him. He appeared to be sleeping, so I “quietly” walked in behind him where there was the least amount of underbrush to walk through and to make noise. I found a pretty good vantage point behind him and waited for him to turn around. I waited and waited. Nothing! He’s still sleeping.

I hoped he would make it easy on the both of us. I eventually walked a meandering way toward the front of him. I took a couple shots, but there was a branch in the way. I could have continued walking around him, but with all the undergrowth it would have been difficult and loud. It appeared he needed his sleep more than I needed a branch free shot. I’ll get one another day.

I made my way back to my backpack behind him and just stood still. After a few minutes he finally turned his head around, but just as quickly he turned it back to the front.

Here are the daily photos I got today…  

Give a Hoot, the male

Give a Hoot, the male




Thursday, April 8, 2021

Whole Lot of Hooting Going On...(Great Horned Owls), 04-07-21


Earlier in the morning, 04-07-21, I went out to check on Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and the owlets. When I got out to the area I found Hoot, Give a Hoot, the male, and both owlets. I only got photographs of them.

So in the afternoon I decided to go back out and see if I could get some video. I got to the nest and saw Hoot standing guard over the nest. I took a couple photos of the owlets and of Hoot hiding above the nest.

Next I checked the area for Give a Hoot, the male. I located him relaxing about 50 yards from the nest. I took a few photos of him before I set up my tripod to take some video.

Shortly after I set up the tripod I saw Hoot fly my direction and land about 20 yards away, but she quickly flew off another 10 yards or so. She was probably wondering what all the laughter taking  place with me and Give Hoot was all about. :)  I was able to get a quick photo of Hoot before she flew back to the nest area.

Give a Hoot dozed most of the time up until shortly after Hoot flew away from the nest area at 1854 hrs. Not too long after Hoot flew off that some crows began making a racket near the owlets in the nest. I couldn’t see where Hoot flew to after she left, so it appeared to me the owlets were there by themselves, but I’m sure Hoot had everything under control.

Give a Hoot became very alert to the sounds of the crows by the nest. He began to do 18 territorial calls all the while looking toward the nest and surrounding area. This went on for over 15 minutes.

It wasn’t very long, but it seemed like it before I saw Hoot fly near us leading one crow away from the nest. She stayed perched in a tree over a 100 yards away from me, so about 150 yards from the nest.

I’m not sure if Give a Hoot started making his calls because of the crows, but from my experience Give a Hoot calls every night that I’ve spent out with them. Sometimes I can’t hear his calls while I’m out there because of the surrounding noises, but they are picked up by the external microphone. I have recorded Give a Hoot calling one evening around 35 times while Hoot was on the nest and he was in the tree next to her.

Give a Hoot flew from his perch at 1929 hrs in the direction he had been focus on for some time after he stopped calling. He stayed low to the ground and disappeared just inside the tree line, but I couldn’t see if he landed. He may have been hunting.

I had been using my 500mm f/4 Nikon lens with my 1.4x teleconverter for the photos and video, but I put on my 2.0x teleconverter to get a shot of Hoot perched in a tree in the distance after Give a Hoot flew off.

Before leaving the area I checked on the owlets in the nest and they were fine. 













Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hoot’s Family (Great Horned Owls)

 Hoot’s Family (Great Horned Owls)

Hoot, Give a Hoot and their Two Owlets…

Early this morning, Wednesday, 04-07-21, I went out to check on Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets after last nights storms and before the next round of thunderstorms.

As I was approaching the nest I heard a crow or two making some noise in the distance. They weren’t going at it like they normally do, but something was going on.

When I got to the nest I saw the two owlets on the nest with wet heads from the recent rains. I looked to see if Hoot was hiding in the tree above the nest, but I didn’t see her. I knew Hoot had to be close and that was probably reason the crows were making the noise.

I took some photos of the owlets and decided to see if I could find Hoot. Maybe I could get a picture of her off the nest. It has been a while since I was able to photograph her in a mostly vertical position not on the nest.

Quickly, I found Give a Hoot, the male, all by himself maybe 20 yards past the nest, but the crows were still making a racket further away. They must be harassing Hoot.

There were enough branches blocking my view to photograph Give a Hoot that I decided to walk up pretty close to him. He will usually fly off before I’m this close to him, so I figured he wasn’t going anywhere now.

When I was done photographing Give a Hoot, I decided to see what the crows were all excited about. I walked close to the edge of a fairly large marsh area that was between me and the crows. Now I wished I hadn’t left my binoculars with my backpack back close to the nest.  I looked for Hoot, but I couldn’t see her. I could see the crows so I looked through the viewfinder and saw the direction they were looking. With the help of my viewfinder I located Hoot.

While I was photographing Hoot, Give a Hoot flew to a branch directly above me. Just as he landed I was able to get a shot of him looking out toward Hoot’s direction. I’m using a 500mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter and if I remember correctly my focus distance is 12 feet. Give a Hoot seemed to be about that distance above me. My next shot of Give a Hoot he was looking down at me. I was only able to get half his body in the frame for the shot.

I decided to leave after getting my photographs so I walked back to my backpack and put my camera away.

While walking out I saw that both Hoot and Give a Hoot had moved closer to the nest and now were perched about 15 yards from one another. I took my camera/lens back out of my backpack and grabbed a couple more shots of each before continuing on my way.  

What an exciting day in the woods…


Owlets

Give a Hoot, male

Give a Hoot, male

Give a Hoot, male

Give a Hoot, male

Hoot, the female

Hoot, the female

Give a Hoot, male

Give a Hoot, male

Give a Hoot, male

Hoot, female

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hoot and her Two Owlets (Great Horned Owls) 04-04-21

If you like watching Great Horned Owlets…you’ll like this video :)

On Sunday, 04-04-21, I spent three hours and fifteen minutes from 1630 to 1945 hrs watching Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets. The last time I sat out with her for a few hours was on 03-31-21. The the owlets keep getting bigger every day.

I’m always fascinated while sitting out watching the behaviors that take place on the nest. This video is no different, but the owlets are so much bigger so its easier to see them interact with mom/Hoot and doing their own thing. Hoot has always been so gentle with them and there are a couple tender moments in this video.

Hoot was sitting/standing facing away from me when I got to the nest. I could see one of the owlets on her right side, but the other one was more in front of her so I could only catch a glimpse of it every once in a while until Hoot left the nest at 1916 hrs. The younger/smaller owlet is the one that seems to always be looking at me.

It was a warm day on the nest with the temperatures in the mid 70’s, so the owls were doing some gular fluttering to stay cool until the temperatures dropped lower.

It was a quiet time on the nest. It didn’t appear that Hoot fed the owlets before flying off the nest this time. The last three times i sat out she spent a half hour each time feeding the owlets before flying off the nest. I also didn’t hear Give a Hoot calling when I played the video clips. Sometimes I can’t hear him calling when I’m sitting out, but my microphone will pick him up in the distance.   

The only real excitement was while I was sitting out photographing was when two Mallard ducks come crashing through the woods and went to the ground. The male was no more than 10 yards from me when it immediately took off flying directly toward me only a couple feet, if that, above me and my camera and tripod. I actually thought it was going to take out my camera. Even Hoot flinched and was wondering what was going on! The female Mallard kept walking around behind me until it eventually flew off. While it was on the ground Hoot would keep turning her head around to watch it.


Hoot and her Two Owlets 04-05-21

 Daily photos of Hoot and her two owlets on Monday, 04-05-21...




 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hoot and her Two Owlets 04-04-21

 On Sunday, 04-04-21, I spent a little over 3 hours from 1630 to 1945 hrs watching Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets. The last time I sat out with her was on 03-3-21. The the owlets keep getting bigger and bigger.

Hoot was sitting/standing facing away from me when I got to the nest. I could see one of the owlets on her right side, but the other one was more in front of her so I could only catch a glimpse of it every once in a while until Hoot left the nest at 1916 hrs.

It was a warm day on the nest with the temperatures in the mid 70’s, so the owls were doing some gular fluttering to stay cool.

It was a quiet time on the nest. It didn’t appear that Hoot fed the owlets before flying off the nest this time. The last three times i sat out she spent a half hour each time feeding the owlets.

The only excitement was while I was sitting out photographing was when two Mallard ducks come crashing through the woods and went to the ground. The male was no more than 10 yards from me when it took off directly toward me flying only a couple feet, if that, above me and my camera and tripod. I actually thought it was going to take out my camera. The female kept walking around about 20 yards from me while Hoot kept an eye on it.

Here are some of the images from Sunday…







Sunday, April 4, 2021

Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl Updates, 03-31-21, 04-01-21,04-02-21 and 04-03-21

 Interactions between Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets on the nest on Wednesday, 03-31-21.



 
 

Here are a couple photos of Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, on Thursday, 04-01-21. I was rushing to get out the door after a longer bike ride today and I forgot my binoculars. I couldn't see the owlets, but I'm sure they're up there. I don't walk around the nest to get a better look.



Today's (Friday, 04-02-21) daily photo's of Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl. Notice the little eye looking at me on Hoot's left in one of the images. Both owlets were in front of Hoot out of the strong winds today.



On Saturday, 04-03-21, after yesterday’s warm bike ride in Wisconsin, I quickly went in to check on Hoot, the female Great Horned Owl, and her two owlets, after I got home. 
 
Here is Saturday’s daily photo. Since it was a very warm day, Hoot was doing some gular fluttering in an attempt to keep herself cool. I caught her in this photo with her mouth open while cooling off.
The older, bigger owlet is to the right of Hoot. Here you can see the feather tuffs have already begun to form.
 
It appears the other owlet is laying low on Hoot’s left side.
 
I added a second image, since the owlet to Hoot's left is visible, although mom's face is blocked with branches. This was the first picture I took. The owlet laid down right after this shot.