Happy Father’s Day!

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!

Half Resting

Fly By

A Burrowing Owl flies over a Prairie Dog sitting outside it’s house at Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

#owl #photo

Fly Over

Soaring (2 photos)

A Burrowing Owl soaring through the air at Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Which photo do you like best?

#owl #photo

Soaring

Soaring Owl

Take Off!

A Burrowing Owl takes to the air while another stands near their roost in the ground in the Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

#owl #photo

Take off

A Burrowing Owl Outside It’s Roost

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.

#owl #photo

Burrowing Owl - One

Burrowing Owl - Two

Burrowing Owl - Three

Can You Find the Burrowing Owl?

Can you find the Burrowing Owl hidden in the grasslands in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

Click like if you found it!

#owl #photo

Can You See Me?

Baby Owlets – Growing Day After Day

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.

Puffballs
Two Great Horned Owlets sleeping in a tree. You can barely see the outline of their little faces.

 

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!

Owlet on Alert
A Great Horned Owlet is alert and looking around as if something scared it. Eventually, the owlet went back to resting.
Whooo Are You?
A Great Horned Owlet looking at the people below its perch.
Falling Asleep
A Great Horned Owlet falling asleep.

 

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!

Hiding in Tree Branches
A Great Horned Owlet resting in the sun among bare tree branches.

I’ll be posting more Yellowstone Spring Babies photos, so check back!

Follow me on my Wallner Photography Facebook page. You can also follow me on Twitter @WallnerPhotos or collect and organize Wallner Photography photos you love on Pinterest.

Blending In

At the beginning of our Yellowstone Spring Babies trip, we spent our first night at Mammoth Hotsprings – knowing this would be a great location to see baby elks.

So, the first day in Yellowstone I’m walking around Mammoth Springs looking for baby elk when I hear a Great Horned Owl hooting in a nearby tree.

Many of you know I’ve spent my spring looking for baby owlets to photograph at home with no luck. If a Great Horned Owl is here, there is a chance she may have owlets!

I quickly find the owl sitting in a tree near the Post Office in Mammoth Springs.

The Great Horned Owl certainly blends in with the tree it’s perched on!!

Next blog… Great Horned Owlets!!

Great Horned Owl
This Great Horned Owl blends into the tree trunk behind her, making it difficult to see her.
Half Resting
This Great Horned Owl has one eye on her little owlets as she rests on a tree branch.
Great Horned Owl
A Great Horned Owl sitting on a tree branch near her owlets that are resting in a nearby tree.
Checking on owlets
This Great Horned Owl’s babies were in a nearby tree. In this photo, it looks as if she’s bending over to get a better look at them.

I’ll be posting more Yellowstone Spring Babies photos, so check back!

Follow me on my Wallner Photography Facebook page. You can also follow me on Twitter @WallnerPhotos or collect and organize Wallner Photography photos you love on Pinterest.

A Great Surprise

As some of you may know, I’ve had on my photo list this spring to find and photograph owls. Easier said than done!

I’ve visited numerous locations, multiple times in hopes of finding an owl family.

And, you’ll never guess it, but the one day when I went out to photograph Trumpeter Swans that I’d seen making a nest at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, what do I find?

A Great Horned Owl being mobbed by crows. Since the trees just started to bud, it was difficult to get a clear photo of the owl, but I was able to capture one. And, it was staring right at me.

And, one photo of four crows mobbing the owl. Can you see all 4 crows?

I See You
A Great Horned Owl looking down from its perch through spring leaves at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Owl and four crows
A Great Horned Owl sits in a tree as four crows (can you find all four?) mob the owl at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Follow me on my Wallner Photography Facebook page. You can also follow me on Twitter @WallnerPhotos or collect and organize Wallner Photography photos you love on Pinterest.