Great Horned OwlJuly 13, 2008

About a month or so ago, a friend offered to take me to a State College location where a great horned owl couple was nesting. Since owl nesting sites are generally kept secret, I was more than eager.

When we reached the spot, the owls saw us first (naturally) and flew away - not too far but well hidden. However, one of the immature great horned owls stayed within sight. (The immatures are already parent-sized but don't have an adult color pattern.)

However, the position the immature chose was not exactly conducive to photography.

Obscured immature great horned owl
  My friend and I then wandered about the area, but when we returned, the immature had come out in the open (if I can call "deep shade" an open space).
Immature great horned owl
  Great horned owls are huge! They're easily larger than, say, a red-tailed hawk.

(Of course, I promised not to tell anyone else the location; also, since the immatures had fledged, they've probably moved on by now.)

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens (handheld), for the photos.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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