Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Tadbit Sick of Tidbits! + GH Owl nesting behavior

Since I have gotten virtually no response to my Tidbit game, which also means I have given out ZERO freebies, I am putting the whole thing to rest. I don't understand how something so simple could be so difficult for participation. RANT: LOSERS! Thanks RNS! You win a photo of your choice just because you played!

Anyhoo, I'm excited about a few things coming up: There are 2 Great Horned Owl nests I am watching, although both have their disadvantages. One is located locally, but it is on a high wire tower near a busy road. The site is on a curve, where traffic could be dangerous, so stopping there for shots is minimal. Also, I am waiting for the owlets to be born, so I don't disturb or stress out mama owl while she is incubating. ( I took the photo below as a reference shot)

The other is located about 50 miles away, but it is the best site I have ever known about. Mama has chosen this site for the past 4 years, and maybe more; I've only known about it for that long. She chose a tree on a courthouse property right next to a sidewalk, where visibility is within 20 feet. In years past, I've set up my tripod, remote, and shot to my hearts content. Here is my favorite shot from last year:

I still can't imagine her choosing this site, but she has returned year after year, so the eating must be good, and outweighs the disturbance of constant human threat. Anyway, I went to see her on Saturday, but all I could see of her was her butt. The nest is deep, therefore, she can practically lay down , which helps in keeping her stress level low.

My own thoughts on seeking out owls: Everybody on earth is curious. Thats a given. Everybody wants to see elusive creatures up close, who wouldn't? Some people don't give thought to consequences to our own actions & thus, animal impact. Owls are elusive because we are their #1 threat. Fact: Great Horned's don't have any natural predators other than another Great Horned. But...when nesting, their babies are at risk from snatching. Hawks, crows, and various other predators do steal eggs. Raccoons and opossums will kill/eat a newborn. There have been accounts where an owl parent has attacked a human because we got too close to the nest. They will protect their young, and no one wants to be in the clutches of their huge talons. Their talons can completely close around something as large as 2 inches in diameter, let alone embedding their claws into most anything that is fleshy. Be careful! Stay a decent distance away for your own protection, and use binoculars to see them closer. Also, use common sense and keep quiet. Don't tell all of your friends so that they can disturb it too. If an owl is disturbed too much, they will abandon their nesting site altogether. Curious is good. Curious brings excitement, which leads to knowledge. Knowledge brings protection, thus conservation. Be curious, not ignorant!

3 comments:

April said...

Enjoyed your owl article - good advice too. That platform on the high wire tower looks as though it was made for the owl. It gives me goose bumps though to see the owl nesting there.

Anonymous said...

Strange that the owl would choose this spot, but once chosen, I suppose they're creatures of habit. Wonderful photo from last year -- no doubt you'll get more this year!

--Monnie

Hannibal said...

Thanks for your comment April! Owls are my absolute fav!!!!!

Hi Monnie!
Thanks for commenting! I'm hoping to head up north to see the courthouse owls next week! Hopefully the babies will be born! I suspect they already are, but want to give them alittle time to grow large enuff to see over the nest.