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Two great horned owlets find new perches as they roam further from their nest tree.

 

Over a span of nearly three weeks this spring, I regularly visited the Madrone Picnic Area in Stevens Creek County Park in Cupertino, CA to observe and photograph a family of Great Horned Owls. I felt incredibly privileged to spend time in the presence of these engrossing creatures. Even when conditions were poor for photography, the family of owls was fascinating to watch. On most visits, I was the only person there with the owls, and for the most part they went about their business while completely ignoring me. Sometimes I would be joined by birders or other photographers, and on several occasions I had the pleasure of pointing out the owls to picnickers or hikers passing by.

As the weeks passed I was able to witness the three owlets wolfing down meals supplied by their parents, engaging in spirited tussles, testing their wings and taking short flights with awkward and sometimes violent landings. The adults and young owls also kept my attention with their wide range of vocalizations, including screechy begging calls by the owlets, the characteristic hoot-a-hoot, hoo-hoo call of the adults, and a strange guttural barking sound that one of the adults made repeatedly each evening shortly before leaving to hunt.

I have posted a collection of my favorite images of this owl family on my main website. To navigate to the gallery click on the following link: Recent Images. In addition, I have posted several High-Definition video clips of these owls on my YouTube channel which you can find by clicking this link: Untamed Images YouTube Channel.

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