Monday, March 5, 2012

They're Back!!!

 If you’ve been following our blog over the past year you may know the story of the Great Horned Owls who managed to fledge two chicks in St. Charles County under some truly adverse conditions last year.

We published this ten part series (called Tales From The Nest) in April, May and June of 2011.  If you missed it and would like to read the whole series, enter Tales From The Nest in the search box in the upper left-hand corner of this page.  

About three weeks ago I stopped by the nest tree to see if perhaps they had returned to use this same nest again this year.  At that time there was no sign of any nest activity (at least that I could see from about 200 feet away and 80 feet below the nest). 

I happened to talk to the neighbor next door to the property on which the nest is located.  He said that he hadn’t seen any nest activity, but that he had been hearing the owls at night, so we knew they were still in the area.

Yesterday I did another drive-by—this time with a good pair of binoculars.  Lo and behold when I got the binoculars focused, there staring at me over the edge of the nest was Mamma.  Of course, there is no way of knowing for sure if this is the same pair that used the nest last year—but it is a very strong likelihood. 

Last year’s pair managed to raise two chicks in spite of freezing temperatures, heavy downpours, hail, snow, and tornadic winds that damaged much of the surrounding area.  In fact, by my calculations the tornado that closed Lambert St. Louis Airport for several days had to have passed directly over the nest. 

Hopefully this year’s pair will have a less traumatic nesting season.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer/Photographer

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