Our Easter Owls

     As many of us Pelham Bay Park, “regulars” know, there are at least one pair of Great Horned Owls who nest here each year. We’ve been watching them successfully produce offspring for many years. For whatever reason, last year was unsuccessful. So, in January of this year, many of us began looking for a nest. We were delighted when we saw Mom sitting in a tree that had been a nest in previous years. Then, our hopes were dashed, when the it was abandoned after a big ice storm. It was a horrible winter for everyone.

     Not long after, that I was walking through the park and didn’t even bother to check, but another regular park birder told me that Mom was sitting again. Every week I went back. I observed and photographed. Most of us thought the eggs were not fertile, since it was very late for Great Horned Owls. Then, on Easter Sunday, I discovered the tiny nestling you see in the photo below. Another birder called me later on to say he saw two nestlings. Each week I went back, to see how things were going. Now I can report that the nest was successful, as the owls have fledged.

This was my first glimpse of one owlet on Easter Sunday, April 24.

Is Mom sitting on eggs or are the owlets underneath?

What’s taking so long? It seemed to take forever, we thought the eggs were no longer viable.

A very curious and perky little bird peeked out momentarily as I watched on April 29.

Notice the changes on May 6. This bird was beginning to look more like an owl.

Finally I got to see both owlets, that was on May 14. They both stayed low in the tree as Mom was watching nearby, high up.

On May 21, one owlet looks as if it’s ready to leave, while the other in still hunkered down.

Here’s both owls right before they left. They are most likely somewhere in the vicinity of the nest. The photo was taken on May 27.

For more info on Great Horned Owls, Link here.

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