Another Great Horned Owl Waits For Darkness

A great horned owl waits for darkness.

Great Horned Owl, Point Reyes National Seashore

It’s mid-day and this adult great horned owl has hours to wait until darkness.  In summer their hunting hours are much shorter than in winter, although they are busiest just after sunset and just before sunrise regardless of season.   They prey on whatever is available.  Hans Peeters, author of Field Guide to Owls of California and the West, states (page 191) that they have been known to even prey on house cats, bald eagles and canada geese.  Bald eagles?  Bald eagles weigh about 10 pounds.  Great horned owls only weigh about three pounds.  I wonder what they’d take if they weighed as much as an eagle?

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About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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2 Responses to Another Great Horned Owl Waits For Darkness

  1. John Wall says:

    I wonder if the guide means *baby* eagles and geese! A goose isn’t exactly a pushover either. In fact, a four-year-old boy vs. a grown Canada goose would probably not go well for the little man if the geese at Stow Lake are any indication….

    • Jim Coda says:

      Hi John. The book didn’t say anything about them being baby eagles. I think I read somewhere that they have also been known to take red-tailed hawks and possums, although neither seems as big a deal as a bald eagle. Regarding your goose story, I was chased by a swan as a child.

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