Great Horned Owls – Apex Predators

An Apex Predator is one that is NOT preyed upon when it is a healthy adult in the wild. I have seen three Apex bird species in the woods and fields that surround our house: Red-tailed hawk, Common Raven and Great Horned Owl. The Coyotes here would be considered apex too because we don’t have wolves or bears.

The Great Horned Owl is the only Apex Predator in our woods lately. Last night, from 9:45  to 10:15 PM, I got to watch one adult Great Horned Owl hunt and three Owlets beg for food. I suppose the owlets are also learning to hunt.

The owls have now moved into our back yard. (Prior to that they were in the woods in the front of our property). There is an open area here with grass, flowers and ornamental trees. Beyond the fence (that protects my flowers from being eaten by deer) is native prairie grass. Beyond that is a grain field.

At dusk (9:45 PM) I spotted a flurry of wings as one owl lifted off from the grass near the playground. Then I saw an owl on the fence. Then another owl.

Four owls were flying from the fence to the playground and back again. Fortunately, I was able to get one photo of all three owlets perched on one of the boards at the top of the swing/slide structure.

I was quickly losing enough light to photograph the birds. My last photo was this one – an owlet and an adult.

After that, the adult owl flew down into the grass between the fence and the erratic (glacier deposited) rocks that you see in the background of this photo. Soon all three owlets flew to the top of the rocks and started to call for food.

A New Yorker visits Vermont and asks, “Where did all these rocks come from?” And the farmer says, “They were brought here by a glacier.”
“Well, what happened to the glacier?”
And the farmer replies, “It went back for more rocks.”
– Blacklock’s Reporter –

The playground, this morning, is the preferred resting spot for one owlet. An adult was there too, but it eventually flew off to a more secluded tree.

I’m going to have to rethink which area of the yard I can garden in today…

These were the owlets on May 28. They were featured in this post: Great Horned Owl Family.

Here they are on June 1 when they started flying. That story is at Great Horned Owl Take Flight.

What Apex Predators live near you?

This is a ‘Six on Saturday’ post – thanks to The Propagator.

 

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