Great Horned Owl Nest

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

Great Horned Owl on a nest, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, near Phoenix, Arizona.

Great Horned Owl on a nest, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, near Phoenix, Arizona.

What doesn’t show in photos but does in video are two little white puff balls that popped up from time to time – newborn chicks.

As I was driving to this nest before sunrise the past Saturday morning the radio DJ was joking about how he clearly didn’t win the giant Mega Lottery because if he had, he wouldn’t be at work on the radio that morning.  I thought to myself that if I had won, I’m pretty sure I would have still be heading off in the morning with my camera to watch a nesting Great Horned Owl – I suppose that is a pretty good sign that you are doing what you love.

Comments 11

  1. Terrific, Ron. Is that quite a low nest? Great that your shot is almost eye level.
    I’m keeping an eye on a few nesting GHOs too. Here in the middle of Saskatchewan it will be a while yet before the eggs are hatching, so I’m keeping a long ways from the nest so as not to disturb the sitting owls. Glad to have a good telephoto to get some shots from a good distance. I’m looking forward to see some little owls in a while.
    I agree about the lottery. If I had a windfall, it would definitely mean more time to enjoy things like … heading off in the morning to watch an owl.

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    Thanks Richard!

    Thanks Scott. It was fairly low, and I was fairly far away which does reduce the angle a bit – this was with a 7D, 600 f/4 and a 2x converter. I wish I could have been a little higher – the tiny chicks barely show in video, but still fun to see. This next was in a busy area so that helped with the disturbing part. Good luck with the nest you are watching!

  3. Ha ha! I had to laugh as I am a ‘night owl’ and this is how I look in the morning!

    The owl has great camouflage. What a treat to come upon this and the tiny chicks. Yes, indeed, you have already ‘won the lotto’!

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  5. Noella is right, you sure have. The look in the eyes is to me like a typical contented parent. Looks like the owl thinks he/she has just won the lottery too.

    Our house finches have just set up housekeeping in our newly cleaned birdhouse. I’m afraid, like my housework, I’m not good at cleaning the bird house very often and when I cleaned it this winter, I found nest on top of nest, with a bunch of small blue eggs unhatched between layers. I kept 5 and put them in a nest I had taken out several years ago.

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    Hi Joni – she did seem very content!

    That reminds me – I need to clean out houses as soon as I get home.

  7. I’ve enjoyed your photo blog for several years now. We live in the Mesa, AZ area, and I’m taking the kids hiking tomorrow morning. Wondering what trail you were on in McDowell Mt. Park? The kids think that we would NEVER be able to spot something like this. I just told them they had to keep their eyes open (but it would help to know which trail to be wide-eyed on!). Thanks!

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    Hi Karen,


    Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner, we have been traveling. The next is at the parking area for the Premberton Trail on the North end of the parking lot. Hopefully someone pointed it out for you so you that you and your kids could see it.

  9. Thanks for the response! We did not see much of anyone out at the park on early Easter morning, and did not spot the owl, but we did have a very nice hike on the Lousley Hill Trail, and saw a beautiful hawk and some wonderful mountain views. I originally started following your blog because of my dream of Alaska, but have really enjoyed your photos of here in Arizona, because it has encouraged me to visit places I wouldn’t have otherwise. Thanks again.

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