Juvenile Great Horned Owl, Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa ---------    

I made an early visit to Mud Lake this morning and came back with nothing. Looking for the branchling between all the leaves is like searching a needle in a hay stack. My photography friend Linda went later in the day to the same place and spotted the owlet successfully. I finally went back in the afternoon and found the young Great Horned Owl sitting on a branch in a large cluster of maple trees, the same spot Linda had described in an email to me. I’m very thankful to her for sending me the message.

I guess we shouldn’t call the owlet “little” anymore. It’s hard to believe it was only 37 days between the photos from today and my first shot of the young bird in the picture below. The click above was made when the bird turned its head and had an eye on our little dog Cooper, who sat quietly in the grass below. Maybe there were some thoughts about a future meal… Looking at its big claws leaves me without any doubts that this owl will be a great predator.

First sighting, March 28, 2017 (image cropped)