I have been several times at the nest of the Great Horned Owl at Mud Lake last week. As the two photos show the conditions can be very different from one day to the next.
Five days ago, March 21, great late afternoon light hit the nest. Mother owl didn’t change position at all. I recognized a ball of gray-black feathers on the right. This is probably the remains of some prey, possibly an American Coot, that she or the male owl had bagged.
This image is from today, March 26, 2017. The rain had just stopped and the owl still looks quite wet. She sits very high in the nest and that makes me believe that her offspring has hatched already some time ago. Here is a time table of my first sightings of an owlet at the same nest for each year:
2016: March 28, a second owlet March 31
2015: March 16
2014: March 28
2013: April 14
It looks like we may see some new life soon. I will try to visit the nest more frequently during the upcoming week.
Both photos were made with the Sigma 150-600, at 600 mm in DX-crop mode of the Nikon D750. This is the equivalent viewing angle of a 900 mm lens. I use the DX mode if I can’t go physically closer to my subject.