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Name-change, plus More Owls!

First, thank-you to everybody who answered the name-change question. I decided to go with it, along with the suggestion to make a note in the LJ's sub-header line. And I suspect that I'll keep using the seasonal saw-whet owl pics that I've been using for a little while, which ought to provide a sense of visual continuity. Not to mention that you guys who pay any attention to what I post are probably used to the types of things I post nowadays. And that won't change, as this entry will show.

So! I am also incredibly behind on posting pictures. Several batches of photos and interesting events/news behind, in fact. So let's get cracking.


Three weekends ago I had some nice pics up of great horned owlets in Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge. The following weekend, the 15th, we got out there again to check up on them, and they happened to be in an even better position for photographing.

This gives a sense of them against the tree.


Or, in close-up:




The preening shot above shows that their adult flight feathers are really coming in on their wings. A comparison between this and the pics in the previous set taken a week earlier shows a good bit more adult plumage coming in overall. The development of their facial discs is particularly striking, I think. They look more orange with a more defined black rim.

There was also a moment where one of the adults was spotted in a nearby pine tree. Other observers who have been there and photographing say that this is probably the dad. (They have other pictures of the mom, who is much bigger, and it seems like dad's ear-tuft feathers are longer, and he's a slightly darker color.)


Then we had this really hilarious sequence where... we were all standing there absorbed in the owlets, and suddenly, something caught their attention...


In from stage right sauntered a wild turkey hen. She was HUGE. And really extremely unconcerned with all of the people standing around. (Turkeys have been making headlines for the past couple of years for showing up in very urban settings in the Boston area, like downtown Brookline.)


The owlets really had not seemed to notice any of us people moving around. But they locked onto that turkey with laser focus, and over the course of the next 5-10 minutes, watched intently as it strolled underneath their tree.








I'd really love to know what that was all about. Did it alarm them for some reason? Did they want to eat it? I didn't THINK that GHOs would go after turkeys, but according to at least one raptor center on the web, they've been known to do so (I can believe that a GHO could kill one if it struck the head/neck).

After the turkey's departure, they went back to being bored.



(I kind of want to make an animated gif based on the above two shots.)

Then there was some preening, and offering more looks at some of the adult feathers coming in. And talons! BIG TALONS.





I love the pupil-size change in the next few. I wonder what they were looking at. Could they see one of their parents? One of the nearby-nesting redtails circling overhead? Something else?




Finally, because it's SPRING: a very vivid flowering dogwood near the cemetery entrance:



- petting sharks!

- owl developments the following week (or, this past weekend).


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oh my gods, these are awesome fabulous shots! Makes me wish I could have teleported down there when they were on that branch. Hilarious about the turkey, the looks on those faces is delightful. You have a great eye, these are great photos! *hugs*

PS. I'm reminded of the time that my cat Scarlet Begonias saw a turkey walking along the edge of the parking lot and was just about beside herself. She was so sure she could take down that turkey. ;)

PS. Love the default icon and the name. :)

Edited at 2011-05-26 10:10 pm (UTC)
May. 26th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
What an awesome sequence of the owlets watching the turkey! and yeah, those turkeys are BIG. They sometimes stomp around on campus and you can get somewhat close and listen to them clucking and gobbling.

I think the third photo down is kind of hilarious in that their faces seem to compress with their eyes closed.

Great photos. I want to reach out and pet the fluffy owlets!
May. 26th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
Awesome shots! Although that doesn't look like a hen to me-- looks like a jake! Young male. Note beard (while hens can grow them too, it's rare) and head colour.
May. 26th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh interesting, thanks! I just assumed it was a hen because I felt like it didn't look... puffy enough for a tom; that a male would always look a bit broader in the chest. And I felt like I couldn't tell whether it was "too colorful" to be a hen or not.
May. 26th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)

The laser-like focus sequence is hilarious... *grins*
May. 26th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
Adore the owlets!!..and the name is wonderful...

Thanks so much for sharing these fantastic photos...

Deeds xx
May. 27th, 2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
These are wonderful! They're really coming along :) Looking forward to the next set.
May. 27th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome photos! And I'm glad you found an LJ name that suited you.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )