A Trio of Great Horned Owlets

A Trio of Great Horned Owlets
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Uploaded by Lesley Hunt on Dec 28 2019 in Jade City
Taken on Jul 05 2019

It was 7:00 am on July 5th, 2019 in our cabin on Mystery Lake near Jade City, BC. I was awakened by my old Labrador dog Java, sounding a very unusual, soft alert. I climbed downstairs and as I approached her I passed a large picture window over looking the lake, the hair on the back of my neck tingled! My peripheral vision detected, a obvious presence on top of the pump shack. The feeling of being studied – undeniable! I turned, my breath caught, I slowly, very slowly, I reached for my P900 and brought it up for the shot. Not a twitch from any one of the three! Here were three fledgling owlets intently watching me – I prayed they wouldn’t take fright and flight! They did not. In fact, I spent the next 14 days in sheer photographic rapture watching and photographing their new lives and rapidly evolving skill set. They moved into our area, the nearest neighbor is kilometers away. The moderately steep lake bank with tree stumps, benches, and pump shack roof all easily accessible and relatively safe for any bad or aborted landings. Immediate retreat over the lake also an easy task! At first I thought they were great greys and not until I returned from a down creek visit and viewed Mama on an old Satellite Dish Post did I realize who I had the pleasure of sharing my property with. I had never seen a Great Horned Owl in my thirty years on Mystery Lake or the entire area of Table Mountain in the Cassiar Mountains! I have video of Mama feeding whole headless trout to the young and the owlets catching squirrels, mice, and rabbits then taking their bounty up onto the pump shack roof to enjoy. They hunted steadily at dawn and dusk and well into the night they would chirp, whistle, screech and babble away to each other. Those 14 days were sheer bliss and most likely a once in a lifetime joy for me. I had to leave my eutopia on Mystery Lake for a medical check up in Edmonton, an 18 hour drive back down the Alaska Hwy. I have been so fortunate to have received two transplanted hearts which requires annual visits. I have heard from a local resident that the owls can still be heard screeching around my lake and cabin from afar.

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