birds, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography

Jeepers creepers…

“Oh, jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?
Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?
Oh, gosh all, git up, how’d they get so lit up?
Gosh all, git up, how’d they get that size?”

If you sang that song to yourself then you are also of an age, like me!

If you were hoping for excitement at the nest you are in for a disappointment.  The excitement happened the day before, or so I was told.  It seems that a rat snake was headed for the nest and Mama Owl flew down and tossed it out of the tree, and down amongst the photographers who were gathered below.  I wonder if anyone got photos of that?  I wanted to go back today see him, and sure enough, I think he has more dark feathers now.  They fledge, that’s fly in case you haven’t Googled this stuff, at somewhere around 45 days, and best estimate puts his age between three to four weeks.

Several photographers were giving up the vigil when I got to the nest a little after 10 AM. The photo everyone wants is of Mom when she flies out of her tree and down to the nest. I’m told that the little guy eats on his own now, so this trip happens less frequently than it used to.  The one guy who stayed had been there an hour longer than me, and as of 12:15 Mom still was stationed in the same tree that I saw her in the last (and only) time I had visited the nest before.  He had printed photos from the day before of Mom and baby lunching on a rabbit, so maybe  she hadn’t been to the nest because there were leftovers to eat today.  I had to leave to get home to the dogs, but Don was still there, watching and waiting.  When you have invested in a really great tripod you can sit in a chair and fire your camera remotely.  My next investment?  Only if I can figure out what to get…2-15Mamaowl2-15owlet12-15owlet22-15owlet32-15owlet42-15owletvignette12-15winglet

“Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?
Oh, those weepers, how they hypnotize!”

birds, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, Owls, perseverance, photography

Whoo is that???

Photographers are a friendly bunch.  They freely share information on where to go to see whatever birds you may wish to see.  Upon losing the eaglets my attention turned to the Great Horned Owl nest I’ve been hearing about.  One of my new acquaintances posts info on the current conditions in the various parks around, so I was well aware that Phillipe Park was the place to go to find an owl-ette (?).  I had never been there before, but I was hopeful that I would find the nest.  I asked directions once I was there and was told to go through the 4-way stop and look for the paparazzi, LOL, and it worked.  Well, it got me to the area, but the other photographers had to point out the nest.  One even moved over to give me a better view, and finally I spotted the Mom up above the nest in a tree.  Some of them had been there for three hours when I got there, but I was just in time, they said, because they expected her to move to the nest any minute.  Then it would be feeding time.3-7owls1The Spanish moss that you see was a challenge to shoot through.  It was hanging from limbs between the owls and where we were standing, and it was blowing back and forth.  I had to switch to manual focus because auto focus kept refocusing as the moss came into the viewer.  Then someone yelled that she was in flight…3-7owlsfeatureOnce she landed all you could see was the baby, sort of…3-7owls2And we all scrambled across the way, hoping for a better angle.3-7owls33-7owls73-7owls43-7owls63-7owls53-7owls8And oh by the way, I wasn’t far off with my made up owl-ette.  Siri says it’s actually owlet.  Such a cute face, and quite the wing spread from the glimpse I got of that.  I have no idea what I used to think about before I became a bird-brain…