Looking for Owls in All the Wrong Places
Having thoroughly offended a family of red-tailed hawks, I must take it all back. I have seen them before, flying in the vicinity – always at a distance, usually at a great height – but I’ve never seen them in that nest before.
(Clicking on each photo will open a tab with a larger view.)
Last year, I took a photo of a great horned owl in a large nest located fifty feet above a river. While kayaking, I had seen it flying back and forth between the river and a stand of trees 200 feet away, and felt lucky to get a photo of just the top of its head, up in the nest. That photo is in my post from Wednesday, along with a new photo of a parent and chicks in that same nest.
Yesterday, I went kayaking with the purpose of taking more photos, before the nest would be obscured by too many leaves. On my first pass, there was no activity at the nest. I continued paddling downstream, and returned 90 minutes later to see an adult landing in the nest. As I got closer, I was able to see that it is not an owl. It’s a red-tailed hawk.
For the next hour, I sat and took took photos, mostly of the head of that adult. While framing those shots, the other parent flew into the frame and landed on the nest. From the repeated motion of its head, it would seem likely that it was tending to the young that I could not see.
They definitely are red-tailed hawks, so I humbly extend my apologies to them.
high above river
great horned owl leaves nest empty
young hawks wait for food