The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 23, 2006

Features

(Photo by Tom Brownrigg)

Biodiversity Corner Great horned owl

On June 11, Tom Brownrigg was walking east on North Road at Great Brook Farm when he heard many upset birds along the edge of the meadow across from the Duffys' house. About ten grackles were diving in a U-shaped flight pattern. As Brownrigg got closer, he could see an immature great horned owl. It was distracted by the grackles and he was able to get within about 15 feet before it saw him. The owl looked straight at him, raised its wings umbrella-fashion about its head. Its talons were already quite large. This was not a comfortable moment for either party, but Brownrigg was able snap some photos.

The young owl made a sound like a loud click with its beak, which could have been a distress call for the parents. Brownrigg did not see an adult owl, but suspects the parents were nearby. Kenn Kaufman, in Lives of North American Birds, says that young owls are tended and fed by heir parents for up to several months.For more information on great horned owls, check the Biodiversity Corner of February 7, 2003, at www. carlislemosquito.org.


2006 The Carlisle Mosquito