All summer we have heard and seen the owls hunting – both parents and one juvenile (previously known as the owlet Happy Feet). It is always too dark to photograph them at dusk and dawn when they are actively hunting. The parents still provide prey to the youngster. This we have deducted from their behavior as we watch and listen.
A few weeks ago, Vanessa and I kayaked at high tide (for access) over to the The ISLAND and walked around with our cameras during the day when the owls are roosting. There is heavy undergrowth on The ISLAND and the pine trees are very tall. We spotted the juvenile owl from our kayaks on the approach to The ISLAND by way of a narrow creeklet that surrounds the high ground. Yes, the same creeklet that was the scene of several owlet rescues from near drowning. See earlier posts.
We observed the young owl in the same tree that I have seen it in while kayaking sans camera. It seems to be its favorite spot. In the feature photo at the top of this post you can see why sometimes they are hard to spot, especially at low light. Both parents and their teenager hang out on The ISLAND most of the day.
Happy Feet is almost all grown up with adult feathers and distinguishing ‘ear’ feathers. But it still relies on Mom & Dad for food. Just like a teenager! BTW I asked HF whatever happened to MiniMe and he had no comment. There is always a parent in close proximity. They are very difficult to spot from distance or from the ground looking up into the tall pines. We think this is Dad.
Almost every morning, if I am up early enough with the binoculars trained on the t-top of our boat, I can see and hear the young adult calling for its breakfast. And then a parent flies in and delivers a small rodent or bird. It is too far away to get a clear photo. Attempts to get closer result in a fly away. I guess it is about time I invested in a tripod and learned how to use the wireless remote! And buy a bigger lens!
Please note that our t-top still has two layers of recycled bill board tarp that Scott and I made to protect our canvas from owl talons and beaks. So attractive!
And this is the view as I turn back to the house. Dawn breaking.