Saturday, April 4, 2015

D Is For Downy Chicks! #AToZChallenge

Tomorrow is Easter and little downy chicks are part of the celebration. So cute and sweet! Lately I've been watching some other kinds of downy chicks...little owlets of the Great Horned variety. Technically not chicks...but close enough! They were born about 22 days ago in Arizona!

When I lived in the country in Virginia, many nights I heard the at first haunting, but over time, familiar and comforting "Hoo, H'Hoo Hoo Hoo" I didn't know what kind of owl I was hearing, but now know it was the Great Horned Owl, the most common owl of the Americas. Living in Utah I live very close to a large equestrian park and in the evenings, when walking, I'll hear that call as well. But to see them in real life, raising a nest of young ones is really fascinating. 

From what I understand the owl cam has been up for a couple of years now. Last year the mom laid 3 eggs but only two made it. 

This year all 3 owlets have survived so far. When they first hatched, they were all white, and the most downy things you ever saw. Unfortunately the camera decided to malfunction soon after that and was down for about 2 weeks. The babies are almost a month old and wow, have they ever grown! 

I like to check back periodically and see what's happening at owl roost central. Before long, the babies will be venturing out on their own, helping in the huge task of feeding themselves. Mom and Dad have been so good, taking turns bringing in food. It's a 24 hour job! I haven't yet seen a feeding time and I'm hoping to catch one.

Facts About Great Horned Owls:
  • The most common owl of the Americas. 
  • Have tufts of feathers on the head, resembling horns
  • Monogamous parents take turns feeding their young
  • Fiercely protective parents - have been known to attack humans in defense of their young.
  • Female lays 2 -5 eggs. 2 is typical
  • Efficient night time hunters. Strike from above with powerful talons that kill and carry animals several times their size.
  • They regularly eat skunks and may be the only animal with such an appetite.

If you'd like to join the fun, here is the link to the Owl cam!

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