Great-horned Owls

Great-horned owl that attempted to serve Dart as breakfast for its young.

A couple weeks ago, we began to hear a great-horned owl hoot for hours in the early morning between midnight and sunrise. This owl hooted non-stop for hours. About a week after all that hooting, we noticed that there were now two owls hooting in the trees behind our backyard. They were hooting a lovely duet. At first it sounded like one owl. If you listened closely, you could hear that it was one owl starting the hoot and the other finishing it. They hooted for hours.

The other night, we let Dart out for his final opportunity to relieve himself before bed and heard the owls doing their duet. We were reminded of our 2016 camping trip where two great-horned owls attempted to make Dart breakfast for their little ones. Regis saved Dart and a rabbit became breakfast.

Dart is probably reasonably safe while they are still “in love” but if they nest nearby we will need to be wary.

We recently saw two bald eagles circling and communicating with each other. In the past a pair has regularly nested nearby, so perhaps these are the two starting their courtship prior to nesting.

On a beautiful sunny day recently I was trying to photograph the butterflies visiting the last of my salvia. The bumblebees are gone. I was actively taking pictures of one butterfly when I noticed a change in its behavior. A praying mantis had nabbed it and started to eat it. It was hard to watch, but I understand the praying mantis has to eat also. In spite of having a wonderful camera in my hand, I was unable to get a good picture. I think part of the problem was adrenaline and the other part not having a good grasp of focusing with the new camera.

A poor picture of a praying mantis eating a butterfly.

Regis and I have been practicing a lot with the camera in hopes of honing our skills for our 2020 adventure. We plan to cover about 8,000 miles next summer and go to Washington state, Canada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico before heading home. I’m still working out the details but I’m excited to have locked up some campsites on Puget Sound for nearly a month. Wahoo!

Little Blue Heron at the Palencia Saltmarsh.
Osprey near our house.

3 Comments on “Great-horned Owls

  1. Hi Linda, Really beautiful pics great your still seeing lots of birds can say the population around here (at least my backyard) has noticeably declined may have something to do with increase in feral cat population. I heard from Mary Small Sunday that Hank Boettcher died last week at 92. They are having a ceremony on Saturday I’m going to see if I can make it. All else good on this end. Hope you have an enjoyable holidays.



    • I am sorry to hear that about Hank. I had forgotten he was that much older.

      Outdoor cats will do a lot of damage to the bird population.


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