If you were to gaze into the eyes of the Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) very long, you might be a victim of the old Jedi Mind Meld. This Great horned owl chick, born Spring 2020 on the Conservancy’s flagship BKS Preserve, could place a gaze on you like no other. Maybe that is what owl chicks do.
We are always so concerned when Great horned owl chicks drop out of the nest so early compared to our expectations and our experience with other species. However, we’ve learned that with a little patience (and no predators that escape its parents’ eyes), they almost always manage to get airborne after a short while. In the second photo, taken a week later, you can see evidence of that.
One final note: Great horned owls are powerful predators. It is amazing to behold their power and aggressiveness when it comes to hunting. But when we see chicks such as this one, with all their furry appearance, it is hard to believe they will mature into such a powerful hunter.