Sunday, December 4, 2016

Great Horned Owl at San Elijo Lagoon

On a recent hike at San Elijo Lagoon, on the Nature Center trail, I was alerted to this sleeping Great Horned Owl by a couple of hummingbirds buzzing around it like mad bees.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl. San Elijo Lagoon, California. November 6, 2016. Greg Gillson.
Great Horned Owls begin their nesting season early--often by late December. They are frequently heard calling during this period. They don't build their own nests, but use the old nests of Common Ravens, Red-tailed Hawks, and Red-shouldered Hawks.

These owls are uncommon but spread out over the entire county--even in the cities. People in general are more tolerant of birds-of-prey than in the past. Thus, ravens and hawks are thriving in urban and residential areas, and the old raptor nests that the Great Horned Owls need are readily found.

Great Horned Owl