Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Great Horned Owl Quest

Since arriving at our hosting site in the over-flow lot at Cattail Cove State Park a month ago we have been on a quest to see the Great Horned Owl.  We hear an owl, or owls every night at some time between dusk to dawn.  Their hoot-hoot-hoot echos between the canyon walls surrounding our parking lot.  A few days ago a camper here spotted an owl at dusk and six of us got a fleeting glance of several short flights, and I got a very poor quality photo.  Yesterday morning just after 7:00 a hoot- hoot sent us scrambling out of our RV in the early morning darkness and we spotted a profile on the canyon rim from where it was calling, and I got another poor photo, shown below. Then last evening just after 5:00 a faint call prompted Jeanette to make another determined effort to locate the owl.  This time she hit the jack pot and found the owl in a small cave in the above photo.  We at first jumped to the conclusion that this was the nesting female, but when we returned some twenty minutes later to locate a second calling the cave was empty.  Our conclusion is that this was just a day time resting spot for either a male or female.  There is a known nesting site, used in past years on the north canyon wall, but so far we have not seen any activity there. It's getting late in the season so we're not sure what the nesting situation is.  This photographed sighting is a significant event in our quest, but still leaves our search open as we continue to hope for an active nest. As I am finishing this blog at 6:00am I hear a male calling on the cliff to the north and a female answering to the south.  Our quest continues.


  1. Nice photo! And it is fun to see how you've made Cattail Cove State Park the top local eBird Hotspot!

  2. Thans John, you will have to come out and bird here again to help me some more with the numbers.