Look hoo's back!

By Phil Plait | May 28, 2011 9:00 am

Ah, Caturday. When else would I post a picture of two adorable owlets?

[Click to strigiformenate.]

These are two Great Horned Owlets, babies from a mated pair that come back every late winter to the same nest in Boulder not far from my house. There’s a bike path there, and so I see them frequently. My brother-in-law Chris took this shot a few weeks ago; since then they have flown off to do whatever it is owls do (but he has another way-too-cute pic of them snoozing on that branch, too).

However, yesterday the weather was nice so I took a ride along a different set of trails. I spotted a group of four people peering into the trees off the trail, and had a hunch what they were seeing. I stopped and asked, and they pointed out to me an owlet nestled between two branches about ten meters away. They told me one parent owl had just left, and they had seen another owlet earlier. I had always figured owls all nested around the same time, but clearly that’s not the case; the owlets pictured above are at least a month older than the one I saw yesterday.

I love Boulder. Not just because I get to see owls, which is actually pretty cool. But also because people will go out of their way to get a peek at them, and welcome others to join in and watch as well. I know that’s not unique to this town, but it is definitely a part of this town.

That, and the owls.


Related posts:

Owl be seeing you
Hoo barfed?
I toad you it’s Caturday
Xtolocaturday

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

Comments (20)

  1. Michel

    Oh look they live in trees!!

    “Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California, needs to hit the science books, forestry experts suggest.

    They reached that conclusion after hearing Mr. Rohrabacher declare during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday that clear-cutting the world’s rain forests might eliminate the production of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.”

    Full Story: green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/republicans-climate-solution-clearcut-the-rain-forest/?ref=danarohrabacher

  2. Nice pair of hooters you got there!

  3. josie

    omg Michel…. Here I was being reminded of the critters on exercise trails here where I live *cough* southern California …and you go and soil it with that jerk….so much for awesome rattlesnakes and roadrunners :(

    I would be happy to take this guy on a walk and show him that forests aren’t just a homogeneous “unit per volume ” of trees. He needs some education and we all need him to get it.

  4. The Mad LOLScientist, FCD

    WOLz r maded ov AWSUM! not g00d NOMz liek other burdies tho.

    h00min self sez: Which reminds me: Have you seen the video of the “real owl & the pussycat”?

    http://cuteoverload.com/2011/05/18/the-owl-and-the-pussycat-fer-realsies/

    (ov cors I finded it on Cute Overload. sily h00min!) =^..^=

  5. AR

    Awww. They’re lovely! (The pic of them sleeping is just way too cute…)

    ****

    Michel:

    Oh, for the love of literacy, seriously?! Is it really too much to ask that we have political leaders who can demonstrate at least elementary-level schooling?

    I was wandering about in a local wildlife conservation area just two days ago and happened upon one of the park staff talking to a group of preschool age kids about exactly this. I stopped to listen in for a sec — cuz science teaching is cool! — and one little guy stuck up his hand to explain, basically, how dirty air goes into trees and comes out clean. They all thought that was just the coolest thing ever. How can Rohrabacher not know what a preschooler knows about science?!

  6. Robin Byron

    The trees in the new development where I live in SC aren’t big enough for owls yet but the open areas are perfect for the amazing Killdeer and their equally amazing chicks.

    Stuck on the ground until they fledge, the chicks are able to walk and find food for themselves about thirty or so minutes after hatching while the parent birds are completely devoted to their protection from all manner of predators.

    With abundant rain and bugs this Spring, the second nesting of chicks are feeding out back as I type.

  7. katwagner

    A couple of happy thoughts: Great Horned Owls are commonly called the “cat owl” because when they’re just sitting, they look like cats with their big ear tufts and all. That was in one of my bird books.

    Aaaand, when the snow melted off our fence row, under this one juniper I found like a zillion owl pellets. All those voles! Hot damn!

  8. Michel

    sorry….
    I´m just a messenger.
    *runs*

  9. Fritriac

    Owls are great! RLY!

  10. Scott Davis

    ORLY?

    I hate Texas, there’s no wild life, no significant geography, NOTHING.

  11. Michel

    @Scott Davis
    Dr.Sheldon Cooper is from Texas.
    Counts for something.

  12. I think P.Z. Myers just ripped on you on pharyngula. Fight back.

  13. Cindy

    The NY Times science section this past Tuesday had a good article on owls and how they’re good predictors of climate change in the arctic regions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/science/24owl.html?_r=1&ref=science

  14. The Mad LOLScientist, FCD

    oh noes! BAD pz! relees teh WOLz! =^..^=

  15. Messier Tidy Upper

    @12. Lee Petersen : Yeah I saw this :

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/05/anti-caturday_post.php

    too.

    For the record I’m very pro-Caturday posts & I see a few owls sometimes when out walking the dog at night. Or perhaps the same one. I also admit I thought this was going to be a Doctor Who related thread. ;-)

  16. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    Google Owl and Cat buddies and you might find a pic like the one I just received on line. Possibly size does matter……..

  17. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    Scientific owls have bigger beakers…….

  18. Michel

    @Lee Petersen
    Here you go… All the Dr Who themes from ´63 to ´10
    youtube.com/watch?v=6J_3rsEwYVE

  19. @ Messier Tidy Upper lol
    @Michel Very nice!

  20. Javier

    Nice Pic. It is now the homescreen picture of my BlackBerry

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