Great Horned Owlet Hiding In Plain Sight
Bob and I refrained from visiting the Great Horned Owls in Markham, Ontario, Canada, for a few days. From another person in the know about the owls’ location, we learned that the Great Horned owlet was becoming increasingly difficult to find.
On May 27, our friend messaged us to say that he had located the adult owls but the owlet was nowhere to be seen. Despite it being early evening, we decided to join him at the Park for a short while.
We found the male Great Horned Owl in his favourite tree. Being a somewhat smaller owl than his counterpart, and with a small head topped by large plumicorns, the male owl was distinguishable from the female.
On a tree limb about a hundred feet away, the female Great Horned Owl had taken up a position within sight of the male.
The adult Great Horned Owls seemed quite relaxed, the female even sleeping off and on. It was reassuring to have both of them in close proximity as it suggested that the owlet was nearby.
The American Crows had grown quiet over the previous few days, an indication that they were finished raising their young. Until another set of their own chicks were produced, the Crows no longer saw the owls as a threat.
After chatting some time with our friend, we took another look for the owlet. Lo and behold, it had been sitting on a tree branch in full view the whole time, hiding in plain sight.
We were rather surprised that the owlet had chosen a branch much lower to the ground than in previous days.
On top of that, the branch appeared faulty. We were concerned that it would break under the additional weight of one of the adults when it arrived with food for the owlet.
From the time that we first laid eyes on the owlet on May 6, until this visit 21 days later, we could see a marked difference in the size of the owlet. Its facial disk and plumicorns were developing nicely, and the owlet was taking in all aspects of its surroundings. After snapping a few photos, Bob and I accompanied our friend on a walk in the Park where Black-billed Cuckoos had been heard and a Baltimore Oriole was making its nest.