Great Horned Owl

A few weeks ago I heard that there was a pair of Great horned owls nesting at Silverwood Park. So last week I went to check it out. The first day I went to Silverwood, I was hoping I could find the nest but could only find one of the adults. The second day I found the nest. I saw three owlets in the nest and one of the parents on a branch close to the nest.

Adult Great Horned Owl
Credit to Stan Tekiela’s Birds of Minnesota Audio CD

The Great horned owl is the largest owl in North America. Great horned owls begin nesting in January or February using old abandoned nests built by other species such as Herons, Red-tailed hawks, Bald eagles, Squirrels, or Crows. Owls can’t smell, instead they use their keen sense of hearing in order to catch prey. This powerful predator can take down birds and mammals even larger than itself. Their diet consists of mammals and birds such as hawks, ducks, skunks, house cats, crows, ravens, loons, squirrels, porcupines, shrews, rats etc. If you hear a group of cawing American crows, they may be mobbing a Great horned owl. The crows have a good reason, because the Great horned owl is their most dangerous predator.


Owlets can fly at about nine to ten weeks though they are still fed by the parents for up to several months. Owls can’t digest furs and bones, so instead they cough it back up into pellets.

Published by PalmerLakeNature

I am a nature-loving teen who photographs all the cool nature in Minnesota and around the world. My goal is to share my passion for the outdoors with others. I was an Outdoor Education Intern at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park in the summer of 2022 where I helped with the summer educational programs. I am also active with the Best Buy Teen Tech Center where I do coding, graphic design, photography, and 3D printing. A few of my photos have been published in a newsletter by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Minneapolis Parks and Rec has also published my nature photos on their Facebook page. Current Equipment: Canon 90D, Tamron 100-400mm Lens, 50mm Lens

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