Beyond the Backyard

Great Horned Owl Nest at Fort De Soto

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Great Horned Owl Family

Two weeks ago, my dad and I drove over to Fort De Soto to photograph the Great Horned Owl nest.  At the time, the owlets were two weeks old.  Ever since I saw Marina Scarr’s highly honored image in the Windland Smith Rice photo contest, I’ve wanted to see a similar scene – the mother owl with her owlet tucked under her wing, with only his face visible, nestled in his mom’s feathers.  I hardly dared hope that I might get a comparable image. We left Orlando at 5am in order to arrive at Fort De Soto a little after sunrise.  With my recent crazy hours at work, I forgot to check for road closures.  We were dismayed to pull up at the entrance gate to find that the roads were closed for a bike race, and wouldn’t re-open till 9:00!  So we returned at 9:00, and the sun was already starting to cast harsh shadows.  We pulled into the North Beach parking lot and joined the gaggle of photographers with long lenses all pointed at the nest.   I gasped with delight when I registered what was in front of me – Mother Owl with not one, but two owlets nestled […]