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Great Horned Owl Family in Summer

These owls are growing up!

In late July, the Great Horned Owl chicks that we have been following are four and a half months old, and must fend for themselves much of the time. The young birds continue to learn valuable lessons by watching the adults hunt. Their first hunting forays were clumsy. But by late July, they've graduated to catching mice. It takes a long time to raise a Great Horned Owl to independent adulthood.
Be sure to watch the video of young owls testing their wings!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Great Horned Owl Family, Part IV

Written by Bob Sundstrom 

This is BirdNote!
[Great Horned Owl pair hooting]
Recognize these Great Horned Owls? We’ve been following them since last winter, when the adults started nesting. We watched the two owlets hatch early in spring, high in a tall cottonwood tree. Throughout the spring, their fierce hunter-parents airlifted in meal after meal, everything from delectable ducks to smelly skunks.
[Great Horned Owl pair hooting] 
At four and a half months old, the young owls must fend for themselves much of the time. Room service is not what is used to be! [Juvenile screeching “feed me!”] But still we see them perched near their parents. The young birds continue to learn valuable lessons by watching the adults hunt.
The young owls’ first hunting forays were clumsy. Early on, they caught no more than large insects, but now they’ve graduated to mice. The owlets must learn quickly about hazards, like not hunting too close to the nearby country road, where cars and trucks pose a deadly threat. Collisions with vehicles kill many owls.
[Sound of vehicles driving rapidly by]
They’ll stay with their parents into the fall. It takes a long time to raise a Great Horned Owl to independent adulthood.
 [Great Horned Owl pair hooting]
I’m Mary McCann. If you’d like to see a very funny video of some young owls, visit our website, BirdNote.org.
###
Great Horned Owl duet provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by W.R. Fish.
Ambient recordings by Chris Peterson and John Kessler Productions.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     July 2017     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# 072106GHOWKPLU            GHOW-06c

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