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…

Wordless Weds. Cooper’s Hawk

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fujinon X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

 

Friday most Fowl- Harrier Hawk

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last week I was gazing out my back door when all of a sudden a pair of Harrier Hawks cruised by hunting right out my backyard! I only had my little bridge camera nearby so opened the door and started firing frames.

Here are two images:  By the time I got my camera one of them was flying out further in the field and I kept saying, ” come back, come back!”, the other one had flown way off to the west.Harrier Hawk in Flight

It did come back and this is the best image I got of it.

Harrier Hawk Male

I think this is a Male Harrier. Its mate, she didn’t stay nearby so I didn’t get an image of her.  I didn’t have it set up in burst mode and this camera can’t track very well so I’m disappointed in the shots I did get. Actually, I’ve been feeling that way often recently as I go through my images looking for something good to post and share. In any case, I was so excited to see the pair right outside my backyard!

It’s been snowing here.  I don’t know the official “inch” total, but it’s beautiful.

He-Man and I bundled up one day and walked the mile to the mailbox between breaks in the weather and here’s the view of Job’s Peak from the street by the mailboxes.

Snowy Day in the Neighborhood

It’s been foggy and you can’t see the mountains right now, but Hopefully, that changes soon and I get out to photograph some snowy scenes.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end! I hope to get the tree decorated. I feel so behind!

Lumix Fz200| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.1

more to come…

 

 

 

Wild Wednesday 21/52 Osprey Family

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The day after Mother’s Day Gordon of undiscoveredimagesamongstus blog was the navigator for an excursion to see an Osprey nest that is currently inhabited with a family of 4.

We had some great sightings of the Female, Male, and little peeks at the chicks.  The morning was overcast, but during lunch the sun broke through the marine layer giving us some blue sky.

The Male was busy in the morning with chores; bringing in new nesting material.

Osprey Male with Nesting Material

Heading out again…

Opresy leaving the Nest

a peek at the chicks!

Osprey with Chicks in the Nest

Osprey and Chicks_DMZ7350

Osprey Facts:

COMMON NAME: Osprey

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pandion haliaetus

TYPE: Birds

DIET: Carnivores

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 30 years

SIZE: Body, 21 to 23 in; wingspan, 5 to 6 ft

WEIGHT: 3.1 to 4.4 lbs

They are fantastic fishers. Their diet is 99% fish, so you’ll find them on rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waterways around the world.

Ospreys hunt by diving to the water’s surface from some 30 to 100 feet up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them pluck fish from the water with their curved claws and carry them for great distances. In flight, ospreys will orient the fish headfirst to ease wind resistance.~https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/o/osprey/

I didn’t get to see the aerial show Gordon and our friend Dan saw on Saturday, but I can’t complain. It was amazing see these fly to and from the nest, and get a bonus peek at the chicks.

We saw some other birds too, but I’ll save those for a rainy day. 🙂

He-Man was seated on a jury today so, I’ll be missing him for the next few days.  Funny that. When he first started telecommuting I wasn’t happy about it. Having him in my space all day; UGH!  I’ve had to adjust. It’s been a few years now and I’ve grown to appreciate him being here.

The Guinea Pig; Box, is settling in and he and Diva Dog are getting used to each other.  Box and she are communicating I think.  Diva Dog chuffs, and wags her tail like crazy when she’s inspecting Box, and his habitat, and Box chirps, and whistles and is really excited to see her after her walks.

Box is standing still in his habitat when I put my hand in to pet him now, so we’re making progress too. I’ll get some images of him to share soon.  He’s a cute little calico Guinea pig.

I hope your week is going well!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| ISO 800| SanDisk Digital Film

more to come…

 

 

Wordless Wednesday 43/52 Loggerhead Shrike

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 7/52

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

American Kestrel-Male

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The American Kestrel is the littlest Falcon in North America and the most colorful.  They’re quite fierce for the size. They often perch on wires, or poles to watch and wait for unsuspecting prey. ” Hunting for insects and other small prey in open territory, kestrels perch on wires or poles, or hover facing into the wind, flapping and adjusting their long tails to stay in place.”~AllAboutBirds.com

Gordon and I stopped at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning before joining a Meet-Up group we’re in at another National Wildlife Refuge and while on the auto route where the Tulle Elk are we spotted this Kestrel on a post.  It was just after a heavy rain storm so there was Tulle Fog all over the valley hence the white sky.  I love the rain drops or dew drops on his breast feathers.

American Kestrel Male

 

 

We didn’t see any Tulle Elk in the paddock. Not one! They must have been deep in the trees until it warmed up.  Thankfully for us this Kestrel was out and about looking for breakfast!

Nikon D700|Nikkor 200-500mm @ 460mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…