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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 20 Dec 2007 (Thursday) 10:41
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Great Horned Owl in populated area

 
montreal
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Dec 20, 2007 10:41 |  #1

The crows seemed very irritated about something this morning... making a lot of noise... And when I looked to see what they were jabbering about, I saw this unusual visitor! You have to understand that this is in the tree behind my appartment, and that I live in a densely populated area. Usually the only birds I see from my window are sparrows - and crows of course :)

Both were taken with the 5D and the 70-200 at 200mm, 1/1000, f4, ISO400, both heavily cropped.


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Richtherookie
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Dec 20, 2007 11:55 |  #2

Awesome, i love owls. Hope that blood is from dinner and not an injurie. looks like you were about under it! Great job, thanks for sharing


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superdiver
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Dec 20, 2007 12:59 |  #3

It looks like an injury to me...I hope not.


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canonloader
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Dec 20, 2007 13:46 |  #4

Couple of nice shots. Looks like he has a pigeon there, but hard to tell.


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montreal
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Dec 20, 2007 17:49 |  #5

No worries; it was lunch, not an injury. I also thought it was injured at first glance, but I felt much better when I saw it gulping down big chunks of its "injury".

I also think it's a pigeon... it was all feathery and white. Later on it ate something grey and furry... probably a squirrel. I wish I would have seen it catch that one! I've been doing a little reading and apparently they can catch skunks, racoons and cats.

I have another pic, taken later in the day, where it has nothing between its claws. The owl stayed there a good 3 hours before it left because the neighbour (who wasn't aware of anything) started using his snowblower right under the tree.

Richtherookie wrote in post #4541201 (external link)
Awesome, i love owls. Hope that blood is from dinner and not an injurie. looks like you were about under it! Great job, thanks for sharing

Actually I was almost as high as the bird. That's the nice thing about it being in town... I could actually climb up to the third floor on the fire escape and get a better shot! :)


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avwh
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Dec 20, 2007 17:51 |  #6

montreal wrote in post #4543035 (external link)
Actually I was almost as high as the bird. That's the nice thing about it being in town... I could actually climb up to the third floor on the fire escape and get a better shot! :)

You can't do THAT in wildlife areas or parks!


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Duane ­ N
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Dec 20, 2007 18:09 as a reply to  @ avwh's post |  #7

Great capture of an early morning/late evening bird of prey. I have a pair that nest close to my property (I hear them all the time at night calling to each other) but haven't seen one in good lighting conditions.


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montreal
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Dec 21, 2007 18:14 |  #8

avwh wrote in post #4543045 (external link)
You can't do THAT in wildlife areas or parks!

I know! It was really great!

Duane N wrote in post #4543141 (external link)
I have a pair that nest close to my property (I hear them all the time at night calling to each other) but haven't seen one in good lighting conditions.

Wow... I'm sure you'll get them someday... You're lucky to have them there that's for sure.

Question for those who know great horned owls: do the individuals keep to a specific territory or are they more nomadic? If they have a territory, how big is it? Is it very unusual to see them in densely populated areas or not? I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth it for me to check that tree 10 times a day like I've been doing since yesterday :)


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Dec 21, 2007 18:16 |  #9

Thats nice that he likes cats. Send him over to my neighborhood. Good picture even in town.




  
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memorex88
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Dec 21, 2007 18:27 |  #10

montreal wrote in post #4549036 (external link)
Question for those who know great horned owls: do the individuals keep to a specific territory or are they more nomadic? If they have a territory, how big is it? Is it very unusual to see them in densely populated areas or not? I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth it for me to check that tree 10 times a day like I've been doing since yesterday :)

WOW great catch! I'm glad it was dinner and not an injury.
I can't answer your question but I'm curious as to where in town this was located?
I've been looking for Owls in parks and still haven't seen one, yet alone taken a picture! Congrats!


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montreal
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Dec 21, 2007 20:04 |  #11

memorex88 wrote in post #4549086 (external link)
I can't answer your question but I'm curious as to where in town this was located?

I live in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in one of those typical Montréal appartments with the crazy outdoor stairs and the "ruelle" in the backyard. The owl was in the tree in the backyard. There is only one tree. It's a densely populated area and I've never seen an owl there before (lived here for nearly 3 years).

memorex88 wrote in post #4549086 (external link)
I've been looking for Owls in parks and still haven't seen one, yet alone taken a picture! Congrats!

A few years ago I know we got to see fantastic owl pictures from forum members here taken in Parc du Cap St-Jacques, in the western part of the island. I've never been there myself.

I would still be grateful if anyone had any info about how normal/unusual it is for GHOs to be seen in big cities.


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owlboy
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Dec 21, 2007 21:21 as a reply to  @ montreal's post |  #12

I would still be grateful if anyone had any info about how normal/unusual it is for GHOs to be seen in big cities.

No, it is not that unusual for them to be spotted in cities. Great-Horned Owls ("GHO") can be found almost anywhere (Cities, deep forest, deserts, etc.)

As for food, GHO have a menu of 250+ species, which include mice, voles, insects, fish, rabbits, cats (under 12 pounds), small dogs, rattlesnakes, ducks, geese, and even foxes. Their favorite menu item is rabbits. Last year I witnessed a GHO (south of Coxsackie NY - 250 miles south of Montreal - loaded with GHOs and other owls) attempt to take a tom turkey. That was quite a sight! GHOs are on the top of the food chain. Their only predators are humans, mature bobcats, and mountain lions.

GHO start to nest in the December/January time frame.They usually use a productive nest for 3-5 years before moving on to a new spot. If it is not productive, they will not use it again.




  
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montreal
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Dec 21, 2007 21:28 |  #13

Thank you owlboy! That's exactly the kind of answer I was looking for.

As for their territory (not of the species in general but of specific individuals), do you know if it's very large? Am I likely to see that bird again in that same tree? (I remind you: lots of human disturbance around).


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ajosteve
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Dec 21, 2007 21:53 |  #14

You can check at the base of trees and see the pellets with bones in them, then you know an owl is using that tree to eat and rest. There is a tall palm tree near my folks house and the ground is littered with these pellets full of bones. I haven't seen the owl, but it stays up there amoung the follage. steve


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owlboy
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Dec 23, 2007 19:33 as a reply to  @ ajosteve's post |  #15

Great-Horned Owls generally have a territory of 1 square mile, and generally stay in the territory the entire year. While the pair mate for life, they don't stay together outside of the nesting season. They are more solitary. If the pair decides that the present territory is not sufficient, they will move to another area. They generally do this every 3-5 years. When the owlets disperse in late summer, they can move up to 150 miles from their parents.

Great-Horned Owls are habitual. They generally visit the same places at the same time each day. If the weather is poor, they may skip a day. They generally hunt around dusk and dawn, but can sometimes be found hunting in the late afternoon. Especially if they are nesting or it is cloudy.

Generally Great-Horned Owls are not too afraid of humans. They are at the top of the food chain, and they know it. They can be quite brave sometimes. They have been known to climb inside chicken cages near people. I have been told by people that a Great-Horned Owl flew in an snatched their cat, who was right at their side. They are fairly common in public parks. During nesting, they have been known to attack people who venture too close to their nest. They are extremely aggressive during nesting season. Most people who have been attacked describe it as a terrifying experience.




  
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Great Horned Owl in populated area
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