Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Don't look at this if you are eating

Ever wonder what the inside of a great horned owl's nest looks like?

Jeff, our tree-climber at RAPTOR, got this picture of the great horned owls at Mitchell Memorial Park. Full of food and pellets and owl poop and cute little owlets....but he also got a big surprise.

Mitchell GHOW nestlings
If you can tear your eyes away from the half-eaten mallard and the pretty dead male cardinal, look at the long, raptor-like legs in the front of the nest. See the band?
That is a red-shouldered hawk that was banded as a nestling on June 1st, 2005. From the other side of town.
Great horned owls are total hard-asses.

16 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Gory!

Pretty cute little things!

Rick said...

You get in my Territory I eat you--gair-on-tee

RuthieJ said...

Wait a second.....I thought they mostly ate mammals like skunks, rats, squirrels, feral cats & bunnies?? What's with all the birds?
Those babies must be incredibly hungry and pretty demanding!

nina said...

But their owlets are adorable--

mon@rch said...

that's what I call being on top of the food chain! Thanks for the update on the RSHA banded bird!

Kitt said...

Wow! Those babies are eating well. Guess they were saving the cardinal for dessert!

Trixie said...

This puts a whole new spin on "Owl Babies" for me! I am sure you have read that book to your girls.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Yeah, Trix...I want my mommy (and a side of redshoulder)...

Egad!!! this is one of the most freaking amazing things I have ever seen. Ecccchh! Half a mallard and RSHA legs, with a cardinal like a cherry on top!!

WOOO!

Lynne said...

I always thought they were primarily mammal eaters too. It is a bit gory but waaay interesting. Hey- everybody's gotta eat!

dguzman said...

WOW... morbidly fascinating. Yet another reason for my fear of GHOWs.

The Swami said...

I believe we may have a medical emergency here. No, it is a bit late for the Red Shouldered Hawk, but the major growth on Julie's head causes some concern.

Although The Swami does not play a doctor on TV he is familiar with the ancient medicinal arts.

First we need a cauldron.

Owlman said...

This makes you realize why birds are ALWAYS mobbing owls. Owls look so docile and cute during the day but at night they kick butt and take names. Great photo!

ncmountainwoman said...

What a great shot! Thanks for showing us things we would never have a chance to see otherwise.

Absolutely fascinating.

Mel said...

WOW! That's a great pic, something new to learn.
Thanks!

Amy said...

Wow, that's so interesting. The half-eaten mallard is freaky! Yep, they are the bad-a$$es of the raptor world! Gotta love 'em for that!

Elaine @ floridabirder said...

Gadzooks. I never realized they would go after anything as large as a mallard or as formidable as a hawk! Little birds, mice, voles, yeah, okay; but what's that about feral cats??? I don't want to know.

First time I've seen pix of owlets lying down. I can't quite decide whether they look like deformed baby seals or old-fashioned handmuffs with pretty scary looking "bling" attached. :)