By Dan Weisz
The Clusters Great Horned Owl family has moved on but I have a few ‘final days’ photos to share along with shots of a new mid-town owlet and some additional photos from the first mid-town family I followed this spring.
This is my final shot of the first neighborhood Great Horned Owl that fledged. It waited several days in a palm tree for its sibling to leave the nest tree.
Mom waited in the same palm.
The second owlet left its nest tree and spent the day in a neighbor’s orange tree. You’ve seen these photos. The following day, it made it over the neighbor’s wall and into the yard next door, climbing up to a great spot in a mesquite tree. It spent two days here before the entire family finally flew off.
That same evening, the mother owl flew from the palm tree to the top of a saguaro. This shot was well after sunset and was lightened in order to see what was happening. This is the last view I had of that owl.
Meanwhile, friends told me about another active nest in a mid-town park. I was able to see the nest and one of the young Great Horned Owls that had already fledged. Its colors help it blend in to its background. Can you find it in this photo?
Here is a close-up. Its colors really help it blend in.
And here are some final looks of the original Great Horned Owl family that I followed mid-town several weeks ago. Here is the mother preening one morning.
And during a stretch, her talons look very imposing.
She paused mid-scratch. Who knows what she was thinking.
A Great Horned Owl cleaning her talons. The underside of her feet are rough and bumpy, helping her to hold on to prey or a perch.
I need to make two corrections to some recent captions. The rattlesnake below is a Diamondback Rattlesnake, not a Mohave. Thank you to Jeff Servoss for clarifying this for me.
This hummingbird is a Broad-billed, not an Anna’s. Additionally, it is not feeding a third baby. Hummingbirds only lay two eggs, so this parent is doing something but is not feeding a ‘third’ baby. Thank you Elissa Fazio for pointing this out to me.