The Great Horned Owls are Horny

The Great Horned Owls are Horny:  For a week now, right at dusk, out my backdoor owls have been calling. Their voices are strong, carrying long distances across the growing darkness. These were not barred owls. Their voice I know well. Yet until last evening, I had failed to learn what kind of owl it was.

Yesterday, on the edge of night I took a walk. The voices were much closer this time. Four or five owls called back and forth to each other endlessly. It was amazing to hear their chorus. Stopping, I listened trying to track one down. It took me ten minutes in the failing light to zero in, but eventually I spied the owl in a treetop.

The Great Horned Owls are Horny

It was a Great Horned Owl. No question, you could see its horns clearly against the sky.  With only my cell phone at hand, unfortunately the resulting picture (above) isn’t great. Still if you look at the top of the tree, immediately right of center, you’ll see the horns too. Truth is they are not horns or even ears, just tufts of feathers, but they are a distinctive feature of this powerful predator. After a time it tired of my presence and left into the darkness on a five foot wingspan.

With so many Great Horned Owls conversing every night, it must be breeding season. Yes, in my neighborhood, the Great Horned Owls are horny.

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2 Responses to The Great Horned Owls are Horny

  1. Ted Rzepski says:

    New England is experiencing another irruption of Snowy owls this year. An ornithologist on a radio show said Great horned owls in Southern New England prey on Snowy owls.
    Have to respect Great horned owls.

    • Ed Mitchell says:

      Hey Ted,
      My apology for not getting back sooner. I’ve been wrapped up in remodeling projects again. Paint, sheet rock, electrical,the works. Good time to get the work done, however. Its been cold even here. Ten days well below normal including mornings in the thirties and one at freezing. So those Great Horned owls prey on other owls? Wow. News to be me. But with a 5 foot wing span, I guess you can zoom down and make lunch of a lot of things.

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