Friday’s Feathered Friends-Great Horned Owl

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Saturday I met some friends at a National Wildlife Refuge for some birding. One of those friends was Gordon. Some of you know him from his blog

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84102527/posts/3117603841

We adhered to the the Corona Virus Covid-19 guidelines by each driving their own car, and when out of the car we wore our masks and stood well apart. I can’t tell you how great it was to see friends I’d not seen in quite awhile. We had great birdy day with great weather for it too.

Upon my arrival while walking to the duck pond I crossed paths with another birder whom I didn’t know, but I ask him if he’d been seeing good birds and he replied while pointing that there was a Great Horned Owl just down there, and told me where to look. When I got to the pond I shared this info with my friends and we all headed up the trail to find the tree. While the Owl wasn’t in the tree he or she wasn’t too far away and we got some great looks, and images of it.

It’s not “in” the tree where it has its nest, but what a great look we got here. Wide awake!

Here it is in its nest. Just a split in the tree.

Copyright © 2021 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fun facts about the Great Horned Owl- From All About Birds.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/

  • Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls. They also eat much smaller items such as rodents, frogs, and scorpions.
  • When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.
  • If you hear an agitated group of cawing American Crows, they may be mobbing a Great Horned Owl. Crows may gather from near and far and harass the owl for hours. The crows have good reason, because the Great Horned Owl is their most dangerous predator.
  • Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a larger voice box and a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.
  • Great Horned Owls are covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against the cold winter weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey. Their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest.
  • Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears.
  • The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005.

Late in the afternoon we returned to this refuge and went to look for the Owl again. It wasn’t in the nest, but perched on top of branch.

Great Horned Owl on a tree top

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. It lives in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and just about any other semi-open habitat between the Artic and the tropics. We were really excited and happy to see this one.

OT- My 11th Blogaverisary on WP was Wednesday I’d like to thank everyone who has followed me, left comments, for the conversations, lessons learned, and the friendships I’ve made with quite a few of you over the years. Thank you!🥰

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm XF WR OIS lens| PS CC 22.1.0

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Blue

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This week for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge she’s asked us to share Feathers of Blue.  Here are a few I’ve taken so far this year.

Great Blue Heron in Flight-

Great Blue Heron

Western Bluebird-Male

Western Bluebird Male

and a Scrub Jay-

Scrub Jay

I’m off hiking in the high country looking for wildflowers, and butterflies today.  I hope you all have a lovely Friday and week-end! I’ll catch up with you when I get home.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 21.2

 

To see what other Feathers of Blue people are sharing click here.

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more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Waders

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This week’s theme for Lisa’s weekly Bird challenge is Waders.  In April and May, I was looking for them but saw only a few here, but they’re a pretty few.

American Avocets in breeding plumage:

American Avocets

Black-necked Stilt- I think this one is a male. I love their pink legs! I think they look fancy and classic with their black and white feathers and pink legs. Also, they have the sweetest big eyes!

Black-necked Stilt

and a White-faced Ibis- in breeding plumage:  It was the only one in the pond. I see a good size flock of them flyover every morning and evening but have no idea where they go or come from. I hope to find the flock one day.

White-faced Ibis

Now that we’re in Summer many of the migrating birds are gone like these waders. I look forward to their return in the winter and spring.

We’ve been having some hot and windy days with thunder a couple of days which brought lightning along and now there are a couple of bush fires in the area we’re watching. It’s supposed to cool down on Sunday but the wind isn’t going anywhere soon.

I hope you’ve had a good week, and your week-end is a good one too!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 21.2

more to come…

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Friday’s Feathered Friends-Bullock’s Oriole Male

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For this week’s Friday’s Feathered Friends, and Lisa’s Weekly Bird Challenge whose theme this week is Yellow Birds I have to share the male Bullock’s Oriole!

Bullock's Oriole Male

They pass through here during mating season and stay high up in the treetops making photographing them a challenge.  I saw this guy not too long ago in April while birding.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF100-400mm LM OIS| PS CC 21.1.2

more to come…

https://oureyesopen.blog/2020/06/19/bird-weekly-photo-challenge-birds-with-yellow-feathers/bird_weekly_badge_400

 

 

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Western Tanager

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDWestern Tanager Male

Happy Friday!  I hope you all have a lovely week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.1.2

more to come…

 

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Nesting

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been doing a lot of birding lately and I’ve come across some nesting birds.

The first one is a Great Horned Owl nesting in a broken branch of a big tree near the river.  I call her Sleepy Eyes.

Great Horned Owl Nesting

Not too far from her is a nesting goose. She too is nesting on a broken branch. I worry about her because I never see the mate nearby and I wonder if she’s eating? I sure hope so!  She’s usually tucked into the wood there so if you didn’t know to look you’d miss her. On this day she felt like sunning her face.

Goose Nesting

This next nest has been empty all winter and the other day while driving to my birding location I spotted the top of a head and pulled over to see who moved in.  A Hawk!

I don’t know what kind of a hawk, but guess a Red-tail since they’re most populous of the hawks here.

Hawk in the Nest

I’ll be keeping an eye on them hoping for chicks soon!

We’re supposed to hit 80 degrees on Saturday! I think Winter may have let go here.

I hope you’re all doing well, and have a nice week-end!

 

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.1.1

more to come…