Dinnertime

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Owlet out of the nest in the morning

The owlets are starting to get out of the nest. Last night I was checked on the owls well after sunset. Daddy Owl was hooting way up at the top of a cottonwood above the owlets. Soon Mama Owl brought home the bacon in what looked like a gopher. She perched with Daddy Owl for a few minutes before she flew down and gave the owlets the gopher for dinner. The three-minute video below is edited down to two minutes forty-five seconds of owl video from Daddy Owl hooting to Big Baby Owl hopping back into the nest with dinner followed by 15 seconds of credits.

Being well past sunset, I could only see outlines of the owls with my bare eyes. I increased the exposure on the video by two stops which let me at least see when the edges of things looked sharp when I focused on the owls. I had to focus manually and hope for the best. Daddy and Mama Owl were backlit, so the increased exposure was able to get their details pretty well. Once Mama Owl flew down to the owlets, the background became dark. I didn’t increase the exposure further, because the picture probably would have become very pixilated in the darkness. As it is I got the video pretty well focused and you can see some details in the owlets in full-screen.

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Owlet out of the nest after sunset.

61 thoughts on “Dinnertime

    • Hi Lavinia. They re a cute family. We are lucking to have then nearby and lucky that Mama and Daddy Owls allow to share in their family life.

    • Thanks, Leah. I happy you get the see some owl live beyond hooting, even if it is a video.

    • Wow, it’s so interesting to see the owl family at dusk, feeding. Thanks so much for sharing this video Tim. It’s something I would never see otherwise.

      • You are welcome, Juanita. Thanks for dropping by, and I’m happy you got to see the owl family in action.

  1. Another incredible record of Bosque life. I enjoyed the lead in by Daddy Owl hooting. The babies are so cute.

    • Hi Susan. Often Daddy Owls brings home dinner, transfers it to Mama Owl and she feeds the owlets. But last night, Daddy was left waching the babies while Mama went out hunting. They are pretty good at getting gophers.

  2. This is such a treat Timothy. They are so beautiful, look how mama Owl watches the babies so intently .such a sweet family and lucky you! Thank you for filming and sharing such a great clip.

    • You are welcome, Holly. Thanks for dropping by and participating in enjoying the owl family. Like I told Lavinia, we a really lucky the owls share their lives with us. I’ve heard that in some places the owls attack anyone who comes near their nests.

  3. What a marvelous video, Timothy. It was a hoot to watch. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) About how far away are you when filming? Do you have some kind of blind?

    • I’m about 30 to 50 feet away. No blind. The owls watch me, and other people with some curiosity.

    • Thanks, Puzzleblume. The owls often hoot back and forth to each other all night. It’s nice to listen to in bed,

    • You are welcome, Michelle. They are so cute when they play and banter. They look like characters in cloaks with their fuzzy feathers outlining their faces.

  4. Beautiful photos and the video was great. I never see the owls. They blend in so well witht he tree. That is the first owl I have seen in awhile on your video. I have to start looking closer in the trees.

    • Hi Sandra. They really do blend in. Now that the trees have leafed out, it’s getting really hard to find Mama Owl perched in the trees behind the nest. Daddy owl is usually in the smae spot during the day so he’s easier to find.

      • I just never see them around here, I hear them every morning when it is still dark out. So I am not even sure what kind of owls they are. But now that I saw your photos, I have a better idea what to look for.

      • Great Horned Owls are all over the USA, so there’s a very good chance that’s what you are hearing since they tend to be very vocal. We have other owls out here, but I rarely see or hear them.

  5. Timothy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this gorgeous update. I am happy and I am mesmerized. What a beautiful video. I can see what they are doing. WOW! They are taking good care of their babies. I can hear them and other birds chirping. Marvelous. I am not worried about the babies anymore. Timothy what kind of tree is that?

    • You are welcome, Gabriela. I’m so happy you got to see how they take care of their little ones so you don’t have to worry about them. There was quite a cacophony of chips, hoots, and other noises. How are you and Maya this morning?

      • Thank you again for the post, Timothy. It’s superb. Maya is still asleep. That’s unusual. Perhaps it was the full moon 🙂 I have to get her up because she needs her meds.
        Wishing everyone a beautiful day.

      • Was she meowing at the moon? Spunk was really moewing and howling last night as he carried his tails around.

      • Spunk plays a game with a leapard tail from a costume. He takes it from his toy box, and carries it around and yowls like he’s killed it. Then he offers it to us. We praise him and thank him for killing the dangerous tail, we tell him we feel safe now, and he gets very proud of himself. He’s been doing it for years. He stealthily carries the tail back into the other room, then carries it out again yowling, and we praise him again. He often does it over and over again throughout the night. Last night he did it over and over again all night.

        He wore out the one tail, so I got him another tail about a month ago, but the new tail is not quite the same. I managed to rejuvenate the original tail, so now he plays with both tails. I got recordings of his yowling last year and made a song with him yowling called Coda. You can listen to it at https://wp.me/p1yQyy-4tR.

        You can see what his tail looks like at https://wp.me/p1yQyy-2ec.

      • Oh, wow, beautiful videos. Thank you Timothy. Spunk is wonderful and I can see his tail.
        “He stealthily carries the tail back into the other room, then carries it out again yowling, and we praise him again.” He acts like a dog. But so does Maya in many aspects. Maya plays games with a “snake” made out of cloth. She love it.
        Timothy, your videos are really precious. Thank you for sharing.

      • Spunk is a really smart kitty. He makes up all kinds of games. If you saw the video I did for Najar, I included video of when she and Spunk were kittens, Spunk made up the game of hiding under the throw rug and Najar would attack him. Kind of like a kitty version of hide and seek.

    • You are welcome, Julie. I’m happy you and your friend got to see the owl family. I wanted to get the almost full moon coming up over pink mountains last night, but the clouds got in the way.

    • Thanks, Teagan. I often check on them at that time of day to see if the adults bring dinner. It’s luck of the draw on if I get there at the right time and they have dinner ready.

  6. Oh how wonderful. I loved this and how lucky you are to have them all!
    We have not heard from our owls in a long time. So this brought me great joy!

  7. Great footage, Tim!
    Just how big are these owls? They look massive to the gopher. Interesting how Mama makes the baby work a bit for it.
    The credits are fab!
    Oh, Daddy owl might be able to get into a band! 🎼Who are you? 🎵Who who who who 🎶

    • Thanks Resa. They are big birds 18 to 25 inches (46 to 63 centimeters) tall and weighing all of about 6 pounds. Daddy does a great version of Who who who who are you.

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