Field Notes: a nest of great horned owls

By Gay Russell

During the over twenty years I have lived in Sun City Oro Valley, we have had several sets of Great Horned Owls nest within our area.  In 2017, a pair made a nest in one of two large trees next to a golf cart path on the edge of the golf course and close to a major street.   Because of the location, I was able to document the progress of the owls. 

One of the parents was spotted outside the nest.  The first shots of the nest revealed fuzzy shapes of owlets; but not the exact number.   A few days later,  a single owlet was observed, peeking over the top of the nest.




As the owlets grew, they ventured out of the nest and it became clear that there were two owlets.  Shots of what are apparently some of the first ventures out of the nest were captured.  A parent was always on watch!  And, later, good close-ups of the owlets were taken.



It was a privilege to see the owls develop.  Even though the location was very close to a busy golf cart path and a major street in our development, the owls seemed to realize that they were safe within the area and would not be disturbed.  I felt fortunate to be able to document the process.


Thank you, Gay, for sharing this story and photos with all of us!