Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus

Great Horned Owl
Above, an adult Great Horned Owl of the eastern type, in Florida, with a tawny-orange
face, and some orange coloration on the body. Compare the more gray-faced western
type in all the pictures of adult birds below.

Great Horned Owl
The image above and the four below come from the same spot, the row of
palm trees along the creek at Agua Caliente Park in Tucson. Immediately above
and below are either one or both of the parents of the fledgling shown in the
next two pictures down. The adult(s) were photographed while watching over
the downy young bird from the row of palms. The nestlings shown at the
bottom of the page were photographed on a nest in the same area a year earlier.

Great Horned Owl
An adult owl rotating its head 180 degrees to keep an eye on its recently fledged
offspring in a nearby mesquite tree, shown in the two bottom photos.

Great Horned Owl
This young bird had first flown within the last three days when the pictures
above and below were taken in 2010, showing it in a mesquite a few yards from
the row of palm trees where the nest was, and from which the adults were
watching. The bird looks to be about equally downy as the young birds still in
the nest in 2009, shown further below, probably because the 2010 nestling had
fallen out of the nest before it could fly. Park rangers supplied a box for it, and
the parents continued to feed it until it fledged.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl
Three young birds on the nest, April 2009.

Great Horned Owls
The adult female is on the left, above, with the three young birds on the right. They are out of the nest, so no longer nestlings, but still spending their time in the nest tree or neighboring trees, so "branchlings" rather than fledglings. The young of large tree-bred raptors pass through this intermediate stage before they are able to forage on their own and hence fully fledged. These Great Horned Owls were nesting near where I live, in Santa Clara County, California. The branchlings are shown with one of them stretching one wing and the tail, below.

Great Horned Owls