Fluffy Faces from Shaw Nature Reserve: Great-horned Owlets

April 22, 2015

I couldn’t get through the spring without sharing an image of at least one group of great-horned owlets. Great horned owls nest throughout the St. Louis region in Forest Park, Shaw Nature Reserve, Busch Conservation Area, and sometimes in backyards, if you are lucky.

It is fascinating to watch the little fluff-balls develop into formidable birds of prey. They spend so many weeks in the nest, from the chilly days of late winter to the warm days of spring, I sometimes feel a little sorry for them. I’m always so happy to see them finally “branch” which is the word used to describe their periodic departure from the nest to investigate surrounding tree limbs without actually taking flight.

Later, when they begin honing their flight skills, some of the best owl viewing occurs as their awkward landings between trees can be quite humorous. Becoming self-sufficient takes a young owl a long time, and mama and papa are necessary to facilitate the process, well into the fall.

I was delighted to get a look from all three of these little ones at Shaw Nature Reserve on a late afternoon last week. The middle owl has already begun to branch out onto adjacent limbs. It was likely the first hatched, and more mature than the others, but it often returns to the nest to cuddle with its siblings who have yet to depart their stick-lined home.

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

5 comments on “Fluffy Faces from Shaw Nature Reserve: Great-horned Owlets”

  1. You know I am loving this post, Danny. Great shot of these three beauties. Knowing where this nest is located and the angle to catch a shot like this, I’m glad all three popped up at the right time to see “who” was lurking in their neck of the woods. Thanks for featuring the great horned owlets this week!

  2. Hoping to go off tomorrow to see the Forest Park lot….tomorrow…IF I wake up 😀 Thanks,Danny!

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