Young owl

I was out for a walk at dusk in nearby Wheelwright Park, and heard a strange sound coming from a nearby tree — a sort of whiny “cheep” kind of sound. I looked up, and there was a juvenile Great Horned Owl about 10 meters up.

The fading light made it hard to see much, but the bird appeared to have well-developed flight feathers. The prominent ear tufts which are characteristic of adult Great Horned Owls were just starting to form. And the plumage was a lighter color than adult plumage. So my guess is that this was a young owl out for one of its first forays from the nest.

As I stood watching it — and trying to take photos with my smartphone — I thought I heard another owl cheeping from a tree farther away. It seems like there were two young owls out trying out their new wings.

An owl sitting on a branch partway up a tree, at some distance from the camera. The light is dim, and the photo is pixelated and of poor quality.

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