There’s an old Cottonwood along the irrigation ditch where we walk that has a reputation for being a bit of an “Owl Factory.” A large branch, about halfway up sports a cavity formed when some other branch fell off years ago. A pair of Great-horned Owls use that spot for a nest.

For (at least) the second year in a row, the pair has produced a couple of chicks. You can always tell when they’re out because a small knot of people congregates to see them and to try and outdo each other with their personal owl lore.

“Two babies last year.”      “No, three.”
“The father’s right overhead.”     “No, that’s the mother.”

No matter the topic, people always manage to “enhance” it.

Anyway, we went by yesterday and two of the chicks were out sunning themselves, too large now to cram themselves comfortably in their nest. One of the parents stood guard on the other side of the irrigation ditch, no doubt amused (in an owl way) at the attention their little family causes. 

And now, it’s just a matter of waiting on those long, silent flight feathers to emerge from that downy coating and for the two of them to start their lives ridding the woods of pesky little mammals.