Best award for the hardest working animal dad goes to… the Great Horned Owl.
In late winter, when the female lays her two or three eggs, the male goes to work. And does he work!!
He not only catches small critters (rats, squirrels, mice, etc.) for food, he also feeds the female, who is about 25 percent larger than he is while she keeps the eggs from freezing.
Once their owlets are born, his work increases with all those owlets crying for food. The female continues to care for the owlets by keeping them warm, so the father is feeding his entire family by himself. About a month after the owlets are born, the female helps hunt for food.
During this time of year, you’ll want to keep an eye on your small dogs and cats. Those father owls have been known to go after easy pet meals as he tries to feed his little family.
Kudos to the hard working Great Horned Owl Father!
Here’s the Burrowing Owl that was hiding in Monday’s blog! Love those eyes!
Burrowing Owls, unlike other owls, are active during the day. And, they build their roosts (or houses) in vacant Prairie Dog homes. I found this owl in the middle of a Prairie Dog town in the Black Hills, South Dakota.
Who knew I’d see my first owlets half way across the country on my Yellowstone Spring Babies trip.
Better yet, the trip offered several days over the course of a week to photograph two Great Horned Owlets and their mom.
And, wow, did they grow quickly!
At times, they were difficult to photograph because they sure know how to hide within the tree branches. Fortunately, spring is a little slower getting to Yellowstone, so the trees weren’t full with leaves yet.
At the beginning of the week, the owlets looked like big cotton balls. You could barely see their faces.
By the end of the week, they were taking shape and looking more like adult Great Horned Owls.
The first day I saw the owlets. They looked like big cotton balls of feather.
Two days later. Both of the owlets were there, but this owlet was sitting in a spot that offered prime viewing. For the owlet to check me out and for me to see the owlet!
Five days since the first time I saw them. I could only find one of the owlets. You can see the feathers on their stomach beginning to take shape!
I’ll be posting more Yellowstone Spring Babies photos, so check back!