Owls

There is a big old cotton wood tree along the river just a little ways down from the house. The top half of this tree broke off some years ago during a wind storm. For the last couple years this owl has taken advantage of the partially hollowed out piece at the top where it broke off to have her nest. At first I just assumed it was a great horned owl. I told Chuck Robbins about the nest and he was instantly excited to come up and take some photos. After getting an up close view with his telephoto lens of her and her two young ones he said he was sure they were long eared owls rather than great horned. A friend of his who is also an outdoor photographer said he was sure they were great horned as he has never seen long ear’s nest in those conditions.
After doing some research and looking at Chuck’s photos I’m inclined to agree with Chuck. Great horned grow to over 25 inches and have a wing span of 4 feet or better. A long ear is only about 15 inches with a wing span of about 3 feet. All in all it’s fun watching these furry fat little critters as they first start to peek out from this 30 foot stump and then on to precariously venturing out on nearby limbs. Perhaps Chuck would comment on these birds of prey and enlighten us a little more about them and the difference between them.

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