May 02 2011

Speaking of Babies

Published by at 6:15 am under Birds of Prey


If you haven’t seen this photo that Steve Gosser posted on his Facebook page, here’s an “Awwwwww” moment. 

This is a pair of great-horned owl chicks that Steve, Cris Hamilton and Bobby Greene saw in Harrison Hills on Saturday.

Great horned owls nest earlier than any other bird in western Pennsylvania.  As a result, the young can walk away from the nest by the first of May.  They can’t fly yet.  They’re in the “branching” phase, similar to ledge-walking in young peregrines.

Cute as these two look, don’t mess with them.  Their parents are nearby, watching, and will attack if you threaten their young.

(photo by Steve Gosser)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Speaking of Babies”

  1. Marianneon 02 May 2011 at 8:06 am

    This pic is awesome! The owls are SOOOOOO cute!

    This should be made into a poster or put on calendars etc.

  2. faith cornellon 02 May 2011 at 8:37 am

    Oh yes an awwww moment, but we sure have plenty of our own now, boy what busy parents flying over head in Pittsburgh trying to keep those fuzzy chicks well fed.

  3. Lauren Conkleon 02 May 2011 at 10:26 am

    These two are adorable. I love the way they are cuddled together.

  4. John Englishon 02 May 2011 at 5:55 pm

    One of the reasons for early nesting is to coincide with skunk breedings season. GHOs are one of the few birds that will eat skunk. Talk about bad breath!!! Hatching closely matches the time that new skunk babies will be emerging from the dens. Quite clever of Mom Nature, eh?

    John/Akela

  5. Douglas Baumanon 04 May 2011 at 5:53 pm

    The two are still there, I saw them this morning again. Click my name to see the latest pics.
    The adult is still being mobbed by crows, just as when I first spotted her/him about a week or so ago. So if you wonder where the crows are, they are cawing at the owls.

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