Where is MiniMe?

Unfortunately, we still do not know. We hear the owls hunting at dawn and dusk. They have been spotted on the docks, in the trees and on The ISLAND.

We cannot determine if there are one or two owlets. I’m not sure the term ‘owlet’ is appropriate anymore. Juvenile may be a more accurate term at this stage of development.

Over the past several weeks, no one has seen two juveniles at the same time. Only one. It is full grown but still has enough fluffy baby feathers to see it is a youngster. The ‘horn’ feathers are more defined now.

Hoo am I?
Hoo am I?

Last year about this same time, we had two juvenile Great Horned Owls appear in our trees along the marsh. We called them ‘The Twins’. A neighbor took this photo:

The Twins 2013
The Twins 2013

The Twins were very entertaining all summer last year. They were almost always together, side by side. The parents continued to bring them prey, sometimes live prey, until October when they started hunting on their own.

We never knew where they had nested and none of our neighbors had spotted them prior to their appearance in the Live Oaks along the marsh in our garden and adjacent properties. The Center for Birds of Prey folks told us that it was most probable that the parents are the same. Great Horned owls mate for life and stay in the same territory if it provides an ample food source.

As the juveniles learn to hunt on their own, and as the nesting season approaches in late fall, the juveniles leave to find mates and establish their own territories. We have wondered how they do that – OwlDating.com or OwlCupid.com?

Last year all four owls used our boat t-top as a dining table  which shredded the canvas. We tried just about everything to thwart them. It is a long story in itself. I need to gather those photos for another post. In the meantime we will keep watching and listening: One owlet? Or two?




MiniMe Still MIA

MiniMe is still missing in action (MIA). The photo above is the other bigger owlet (we think). Also know as Klingon, Twinkle Toes, Happy Feet and Big Foot.

Dad with one owlet
Dad with one owlet

We have been trying to find MiniMe. We look and listen. One owlet or two? By we, I mean all of us that live on the marsh in the parent owl’s territory. We call  and text each other what we see and hear. We also join up in our gardens, docks and marsh with binoculars and flashlights.

Sometimes we convince ourselves that we do hear two owlet voices. But we cannot confirm. We have not found any evidence that MiniMe is permanently gone.  Until we see two owlets at the same time in different places, MiniMe’s status is MIA.

We have hope that Mm survives and is dancing in the treetops. Finally learning how to climb and fly.

One owlet is thriving, this we know for sure

In the meantime, we celebrate that one owlet is thriving. These photos were taken on April 1st. The owlet is in the very top of tall pines in front of our home. It looks good.

Many fans of the owlets and especially MiniMe, with all its travails, have written and called to find out if there is any news. And also to check on us, worried that we are despondent.

Scott and I are fine. We are secure in that we did whatever we could to help these magical creatures along in their life’s journeys. But we are also realists. And huge fans of mother nature.

Yesterday, our neighbors reported a wild turkey in the marsh! I did see it but was not stealthy enough to get a photo before it flushed. A female or juvenile, and wild, since it flew.

While trying to get a photo of the turkey, I spotted an easier subject.

Mallard in pond
Mallard in pond

So life goes on. I will continue to update this blog with photos of the Great Horned Owlet. Maybe not considered an owlet anymore – a juvenile? I will have to look that up. Teenager?

Last year about this same time, we had juvenile Great Horned Owls show up in our garden. We called them the ‘Twins’. They were the size of the owlet we have now in our area. They sat side by side, everyday, quiet and well behaved. Until feeding time.

They entertained us all summer long, the parents feeding them until late September. So we do have some experience, however last year, they did not appear as nestlings or even owlets. They were almost full size and still downy. And they could fly from tree to tree and were never on the ground. They could not hunt for themselves and the parents brought them live prey, once a huge snake. So we expect that we will be following and reporting on whatever the owls are doing for quite a while.

Thank you for all your comments, support and concern – for the owlets, MiniMe and me! And St. Scott.

And if we ever find MiniMe we will be sure to post it immediately!