Sunday, May 03, 2009

Post-fledging challenges

A few days ago I wrote about the fledging of our local Great Horned Owl chicks. Later that night Karyn and I returned to see if we could watch the chicks flying. What played out was a more interesting tale.

We arrived to find the adult female owl feeding two of the chicks back in the nest hole.

Adult Great Horned Owl feeding young.

The youngest owlet was not at the nest, but was down on the sand instead, trying to get to the food. He/she was calling constantly.

Youngest Great Horned Owl chick.

Apparently not knowing how to fly to the hole, he/she was attempting to walk there.



The remaining steps back to the nest hole were apparently too much for the owlet. He/she slipped off of the ledge.


It would not appear as if this chick would be getting dinner tonight. One of its siblings did fly down to the visit for a moment, possibly to provide encouragement, before flying back to the nest hole. As the light diminished, the owlet was again attempting to walk back to the nest hole.

We don't know if he/she got dinner that night, but the next evening we found all three owlets safely back in the nest hole.



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