Great Horned Owl fledgling and an old granary

/, Glacier County, Great Horned Owls, Montana/Great Horned Owl fledgling and an old granary

Great Horned Owl fledgling and an old granaryGreat Horned Owl fledgling and an old granary – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light, not baited

This morning winter is trying to creep back into northern Utah but I am thinking of warmer weather, Montana and Great Horned Owls. Great Horned Owls have already begun nesting in many areas of the country and in some locations they already have young in the nest.

I found a nest in the West Desert where an owl was already sitting on the nest but unfortunately the nest is too far from the road and the land the nest tree is on is private property. I’ll get to observe that nest but from a long distance.

The last time I checked on the Great Horned Owls at the hay barn on Antelope Island the female was inside the nest box which might mean she is on eggs. Unfortunately that nesting location is not very appealing for photography because of the metal roof, trusses and side wall. Some elements of “the hand of man” work for my tastes but those don’t.

On the other hand I do enjoy images of my subjects, like this Great Horned Owl fledgling in Montana, that show wooden structures like this granary where the wood is worn and shows signs of being weathered by the elements. For me this old wood granary and the young owl work together perfectly.

Great Horned Owls do not typically build their own nests but take over nests from other birds like hawks, ospreys and even eagles and they will also nest in old or abandoned structures like barns, sheds, granaries, silos and man made nest boxes.

Life is good.



  1. Lois March 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I must have been elsewhere when you originally posted this … so glad I saw the thumbnail in the side bar … the little cutie sure brought a smile!!! Great capture!!!

  2. Jane Chesebrough March 3, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    First time i saw fledges were here in Alberta and I wasn’t sure if the “fuzz” was from their feathers or the cottonwoods-a little of both. Nice to see this one in the granary window.

  3. Suzanne March 2, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    What a stunning image! Love the light and the overall tones.

  4. Utahbooklover March 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Nice composition and light on this strange looking young owl, who will become a beautiful adult.

  5. Elephant's Child March 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Aaaah. Heart balm. Thank you.

  6. Neil Rossmiller March 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Mia,
    Winter is trying to creep back into Northern Utah today. More stealth and sneaky than the blatant blizzard I’m hoping for, but at least it’s trying to snow.
    I always appreciate your imagery and find it inspiring to my own work. The Great Horned owls are nesting here at a neighbors as well and a pair of Long-Eared Owls are courting here at our place. (first time I’ve ID a species via sound rather than sight). Curbing my enthusiasm to photograph them and giving them the needed comfort zone to start a family here is very difficult, but the owls well being comes first and the images will happen if and when they happen.
    Thanks for helping to keep the creative juices flowing.

  7. Sarah Mayhew March 2, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Too cute!

  8. Chris Rohrer March 2, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Love owlets:) Hope they grow old and wise.

  9. Humming Bird Lover March 2, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Love all your Owl photo’s theses and the Burrowing Owls are my favorite! Keep up the great shooting! Hope you get snow on the Island soon! Here in Va. rain the next few days! It is okay as the snow is dirty and a mess now!

    Take care and get many special photo’s soon!!!!!!

  10. Patty Chadwick March 2, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Wonderful play of textures and colors…reminds me of my owl whooo was about that age, maybe a little younger when he came to me…

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