May 15 2011
Great horned owls are very versatile, the most widely distributed owl in the western hemisphere. They range from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and are found in forests, prairies, mountains and deserts, though they avoid the extremes of dense rainforest, hard desert and high Arctic tundra.
Adult great horned owls have no predators — not even humans will mess with them — but the babies are vulnerable.
Here are two baby owls just a couple of weeks younger than the Pennsylvania pair I featured on May 2. Steve Valasek found them near his home in New Mexico. Notice that they’re paler than their Pennsylvania relatives, a characteristic of southwestern great horned owls.
These two appear to be alone and one of them is telling Steve to back off.
Look at those eyebrows!
But just in case the stare doesn’t work, step back a bit and you’ll see who’s watching nearby!
Don’t mess with me!
(photos by Steve Valasek)