Great Horned Owl

While I have been seeing adult Great Horned Owls recently, no sign of any juveniles. Early in the year it almost looked like the pair frequenting Reifel might nest in the sanctuary again. This did not happen with the duo likely nesting in the Alaksen National Wildlife Area next door. This afternoon at Reifel I got my first glimpse of a juvenile for this season.

Great Horned Owl Juvenile
Great Horned Owl Juvenile

It was not in a good location for photos, obstructed by branches and with some difficult back light. None the less, it was finally fun to see one. At least its eyes were wide open because of the crows harassing it. All the ruckus is what got my attention in the first place.

Bewicks’s & Great Horned

Well it has been about a week since my last post. Unusual for me, although I had managed one outing, no pictures or news to speak of. Plans changed a couple of times this morning, but once all was said and done, there was a chance for an afternoon stroll.

I headed out to Reifel as there were still a couple of birds around on my list to see and hopefully photograph. Along the east dyke trail there were some Yellow Warblers singing and moving between the trees. I spent some time listening, watching and waiting to see if they would move to an area where I could at least attempt some photos. While it was fun to see them again, they were not going to cooperate for any shots.

Then a noisy Bewick’s Wren caught my attention.

Bewick's Wren
Bewick's Wren

With a little coaxing,

Bewick's Wren
Bewick's Wren

… it did pop up a couple of times and provide some photo ops.

I continued checking the east dyke and inside trails, but to no avail for the other birds I was wanting to see. The stand-by to fall back on this afternoon was a Great Horned Owl. It was roosting in the trees at the junction of the east and north dyke trails. I had stopped by earlier but did not like the light at the time. Given where the bird was, it was still on the harsh side.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

After preening it took time to strech its wings.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

It kept them fanned out like this for a few minutes.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

It then took up a more familiar posture. The sanctuary was closing in a few minutes and I had to leave. Too bad, as the light would have been a lot better in an hour or so.

Waxwing, Owl & Bunting

Was not finding too much this afternoon. A glimpse of a Vireo of some sort, but could not relocate it. There were still lots of Waxwings moving about.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

So I tried for a couple of shots.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

Such a pretty bird, hard to resist not trying to get something.

Late in my walk the cak-cak-cak of a Cooper’s Hawk caught my ear. It was really kicking up a stink. Then another one started calling as well. I know the nest is close by, but this was coming from an adjacent stand of trees. While trying to locate the hawks, the Crows assembled and started chiming in as well.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Finally I located the reason for all the raucousness. This Great Horned Owl was getting dive bombed from every direction. Little wonder its eyes were as wide open as they are.

I was on my way back to the car when I noticed one of the Lazuli Buntings.

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting

It was in one of the usual spots and actually allowed me to approach.

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting

Better yet, it was not obstructed by branches while singing away in the late afternoon sun.