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May 18, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Great-horned Owlets

Last Saturday was International Migratory Bird Day, a program that highlights and celebrates the migration of birds and their journey to their nesting grounds as they travel across the continent. The events held on that day are meant to inspire people to get outdoors, learn about birds, and take part in their conservation.

I was part of a group that spent the day on a golf course surveying birds, an annual event we call The Bird Watching Open. One of the highlights of the day was finding the two Great-horned Owlets, the same two that I had posted about several weeks ago, had left their nest and were sitting on a nearby branch.

Great-horned Owlets

They are only a few months old but already are the size of their parents. Most of their feathers have grown in but you can still see the downy underparts. At this point they can only fly short distances from branch to branch and still depend on their parents to bring them food. Over the summer they will develop their flying skills and learn to hunt. By October they will be independent adults.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. fadilawesome / May 18 2013 2:23 am

    Reblogged this on Hi Buddy!.


  2. Beth F / May 18 2013 5:16 am

    Wow! What a sighting! I hope you’re able to catch a few more photos of them over the summer.


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 7:29 am

      They are in a tree on a golf course so I can only go when my group has an event or with special permission. My next opportunity will probably be July… if we can find them.


  3. Joy / May 18 2013 6:44 am

    That’s awesome. I’ve never seen owls up close before. Thanks for sharing!


  4. harvee / May 18 2013 6:48 am

    What a treat to have seen these young Great Horned Owls! We saw a lot of warblers at Magee Marsh along Lake Erie. I’d lobe o go elsewhere for birding one of these days.


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 7:30 am

      Local forest preserves and nature trails have huge numbers of birds. Hope you get to go again. We saw 71 species in 7 hours last week, and that was just a golf course!


  5. laurelrainsnow / May 18 2013 6:57 am

    Great shots~ Those owlets are very impressive.



  6. Kaye / May 18 2013 6:58 am

    Wow! Those owls are gorgeous!!!! They look so big already. What fabulous photos!


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 7:32 am

      They are already the size of their parents, but they still need to learn to be independent owls.


  7. Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf / May 18 2013 7:30 am

    Once again, an amazing picture! I love owls 🙂

    Here is my SATURDAY SNAPSHOT post.


  8. avianstudent / May 18 2013 7:30 am

    So cute! What a sighting.


  9. Louise / May 18 2013 7:48 am

    Great picture! What a fantastic experience that must have been.


  10. Arti / May 18 2013 8:35 am

    They are lovely. You’ve just reminded me… I should go visit ‘my’ two owlets. There are out now from their nest inside the tree vacuum and have been sighted. If I can take a photo of them, I’d like to see if ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ look alike. 😉


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 12:02 pm

      Hopefully they will cooperate and be on a branch where you can photograph them. I’d love to see how they look.


      • Arti / May 18 2013 2:23 pm

        Just went out and found them. Owlets sitting our diff. branches, and so were mom and dad. Hard to find too due to the leaves. Not as clear as your pic. here. I might post it next Sat.


      • Leslie / May 18 2013 9:11 pm

        Yaaaay. Glad your owlets are ok. I got lucky, the tree they were in hadn’t fully leafed out yet, plus they were roosting together. The parents were in a different tree and I wasn’t able to get a shot of them.


  11. irene / May 18 2013 8:58 am

    they grow up so fast


  12. brokencookiesdontcount / May 18 2013 10:07 am

    Your owls are so beautiful. Muted colors and perfectly matched to their surroundings. Thanks for sharing this, Leslie!


  13. Beth Hoffman / May 18 2013 10:18 am

    Oh my gosh … What an amazing experience, and then to actually capture the owlets on film, too!


  14. Christine Harding / May 18 2013 10:49 am

    Those owls are so lovely, and you’ve captured all the beautiful detals on the feathers, My Snapshot is at


  15. debbierodgers / May 18 2013 12:22 pm

    They look so old and wise already!

    Your photos are really spectacular, Leslie. 🙂


  16. Suko / May 18 2013 2:34 pm

    They are so majestic! What a gorgeous photo, Leslie! 🙂


  17. Vicki / May 18 2013 2:49 pm

    Gorgeous! I love owls!! We have a HUGE one in our yard. It’s been here for 14 yrs.


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 9:15 pm

      That is so cool to have one in your yard. I hear them hoo hoooing, but have never seen one in my yard.


  18. nrlymrtl / May 18 2013 7:44 pm

    We have these owls in our valley. Impressive birds – though I have only seen one once so far. I hear that they leave all sorts of small animal bones at the base of their nesting tree – is that right?


    • Leslie / May 18 2013 9:14 pm

      They cough up the bones in what are called owl pellets. I posted a picture of one a few weeks ago. We think the bones were a skunk.


  19. Sheila (Book Journey) / May 18 2013 8:22 pm

    Thats amazing! I have only scene an owl perhaps once up close.


  20. lmkazmierczak / May 19 2013 3:46 pm

    They look wary….great shot♫ My SS:


  21. stacybuckeye / May 20 2013 8:59 am

    I can always count on you to educate me. Your pics always amaze me.


  22. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / May 20 2013 7:43 pm

    My husband and I were in amazed by these…how great Leslie.


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