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.
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 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?