Okay, I'm not sure how much kissing owls do, but our local great horned owls sure did get busy this winter. Sometime last fall our local owl, Domino, began sharing our willow trees with a new owl, Lola. She is beautiful and has a white tuft of feathers just below her beak. She is also very spooky around people, so I'm not sure we've ever gotten a great picture of her by herself. Here they are together, Lola is higher and Domino is below in the background.
I knew that something was up when Lola sat in a nest all winter and never really seemed to leave. I had really hoped that she and Domino had mated and that this spring we would get to see some baby owls.
One evening in mid-April while we were watching a movie in the living room I looked over at the tree where Lolo had her nest and squealed pretty darn loud when I realized that there were two fuzz balls in the nest, but Lola wasn't there. I grabbed the binoculars and confirmed- there were two owl babies in the nest waiting for Lola to bring them dinner.
Owl TV quickly became our favorite evening activity. Every night we would check in on the owlets and see what what going on. Watching the parents come back with food was the most exciting thing to witness. We quickly realized that Domino and Lola worked together to bring the babies food, and took turns sitting on the nest. The most amazing thing was when one of the owls came back to a tree with a bird, the other owl swooped down and took the bird from the other, and then took it back to the nest to the little one's.
The entertainment only lasted a few weeks because before we knew it the owlets were perched on the edge of the nest, practicing their flapping and less than a week later had left the nest completely. Here is one of the "babies" on May 8th, still a little fluffy, but definitely grown up.
It seems that one of the parents and babies has left the area and one baby and parent remains. I'm not sure which one's are still around because the willows are quickly getting their leaves and making it easier for the owls to hid.