Monday, April 13, 2015
The babies hatched and have been growing fast. This pair were able to sit together for the first time in a long time as the female left the babies alone in the warm sun for the first time yesterday.
At the well known nest in Silverwood Park the babies left the nest a couple of weeks ago, but this nest in an Edina park will still have the babies in the nest for a few days.
Great Horned Owls usually don't do much construction for their nest, using an old crow or hawk nest, or an old squirrel nest.
These nests often fall apart before the babies are ready to leave the nest, and the young owls have to hold onto branches or fall to the ground. The parents are still very attentive and protect the babies wherever they end up.
She would fly to a tree 100 feet away and then return to this branch several times.
Once about 20 crows came to harass her and I was surprised to watch her fly to the nest tree with the crows following her.
The babies must be too big for her to worry about crows injuring them. After a few minutes the crows all flew away.
This is one of the babies at the Silverwood Park nest that I took pictures of two weeks ago as it was hopping up a large branch moving away from the nest box. The babies owls are called "branchers" during these first days out of the nest.
The pair at the Edina Park did not get much time together as the male flys off in the picture below to distract some danger that the female can see as she looks up into the sky.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
I took this picture yesterday, though there was no sun.
It is always good to see these large hairy flowers push out of the recently frozen ground and open up to be pollinated by the first bees of spring.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
The Bluebirds and Robins have returned in great numbers. I took these pictures the last two days.
It is always a great pleasure to hear the Bluebirds singing when they return in the spring. This beautiful male was flying from one nestbox to another trying to decide which was the best location to attract the perfect female.
The blue of these birds is very welcome after so little color all winter.
They especially like worms, who come to the surface of the ground after the long winter. But the worms do not go willingly, and put up a bit of a struggle, as seen in the pictures below.
The worms mostly lose these contests, and the Robins get refueled and ready for their nesting season.
As the female Robins arrive over the next few weeks, mates will be chosen, and nesting will begin.
In the meantime, worms should beware of hungry Robins.