A friend pointed out this nest in the hedge in front of our office building today. She was very excited to see these freshly hatched chicks instinctively opening their mouths anytime somebody passed by. Seeing them all stuffed together in such a little nest, with their necks stretched straight up toward the sky with their mouths open reminded me of watching cartoons when I was a kid. I can vividly remember images of the farmer’s wife baking a blackbird pie. It seems awful now, but I remember it being very funny back then!
Their parents weren’t very happy that we were close to their nest though and they chattered angrily from the adjacent trees. I guess they should have picked a more secluded location to build their nest… The adults had been dive-bombing me every time I passed near that spot over the previous few days, so I was pretty sure they had a nest in those shrubs, only I didn’t quite know where. I made as many images as I could in just a couple of minutes, and when I left the adults were back on the nest before I was out of sight.
I got home tonight and discovered some excitement in my neighborhood about some baby rabbits in the flowerbed at a house across the street. The kids on the street had discovered them earlier in the day and obviously were very excited. Baby bunnies are extremely cute. They are also essentially helpless without their parents around, and so they tried to stay motionless in the flowerbed all evening in order to avoid any attention.
The kids had a good time watching them (and feeding them some carrot sticks), and of course I dropped by to take a few pictures. Other than that they were left alone in the same place that they were found. There had been no sign of the parents all afternoon or evening, but hopefully they will return to collect the babies after it gets dark…
I was very excited to find a family of Great Horned Owls in Fish Creek Provincial Park, including two juveniles. The owlets were flapping their wings and hopping around from branch to branch. It appears that they can’t quite fly yet, but they’re definitely stretching their wings and getting ready to try!
Fish Creek Provincial Park is massive and there are birds and animals all over the park. From squirrels to coyotes, to White-tailed deer. Great Horned Owls are just one of the many very common birds in the park. There really are lots of them, and I hear reports about them all the time. Having said that, I’m always amazed when I do actually find one, and I have been extremely unsuccessful in the past. In fact I made over 9 trips to Shannon Terrace and Bebo Grove last spring searching for Northern Pygmy Owls, and I never saw even one. It became a running joke with my wife because every time she joined me one one of those trips it snowed. The visibility was usually so poor that we could have walked by a whole flock of owls and we wouldn’t have seen them.
But my luck is much better at the East end of the park near Sikome Lake and Hull’s Wood. I’ve seen owls in that area several times and so I’m not really surprised anymore when I do. Always excited, but not surprised!!
Here are a few more images of the young owlets perching and stretching their wings.
This is just a preview of 100’s of images I made this morning at my friends house. The eggs in the Blue Jay nest that I was invited to see last week hatched this week! My friends invited me back to see the babies in action. Mom and Dad were steadily coming back with their mouths full of food for the nestlings and I was able to get an extreme close-up (bird’s eye) view!