I saw my first owl today!!! It was huge – a bee-oo-tiful Great Horned Owl. As I was following a faint trail through the land of white spruce and red squirrels in the Weaselhead Flats, one of the red squirrels sounded its alarm call and made me look up into one of the spruce. Woah! Big owl! I took a picture striped with closer branches.
When I tried to get closer, the owl flew away, showing me the incredible size of its wings. It disappeared. I wandered through the spruce, photographing squirrels and chickadees and nuthatches. At some point, a Blue Jay flew through the trees and shortly after, piercing shrieks cut through the squirrel chatter. I homed in on the shrieks and the Blue Jay and the owl who was being shrieked at. The owl flew away, but I saw it perch not too far off. I left lots of space between us and it let me photograph its two profiles and the back of its head.
Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus, Grand-duc d’Amérique) are one of the most common owls in North America. They do not migrate, but settle year round in a variety of habitats – deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics. Fun facts courtesy of All About Birds.