Great-horned owl nested outside window

from our February 2013 issue

By Frieda-Marie Elias – Swift Current, Sask.

Not so many years ago we lived on an acreage outside Swift Current and there we had nesting great-horned owls regularly. Oh, the fun of observing them!

During the day one slept outside our window, but one day it had moved to another limb – a long one where there was much room.

As it was snoring away, a cocky crow lit beside it and gave the great one a continuous tongue-lashing for about 10 minutes.

The crow meant business, fluffing its feathers and making itself big. Squawk! Squawk! The owl did not open an eye.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, another great-horned owl landed on the opposite side of the crow. Then there was swift action. That crow was out of there fast!

During flight-training of the young, there was no sleeping. The parent sat on a fencepost, the baby a few fenceposts away.

You could almost understand the parent’s words: “Come now. You can do it. Over here. Try it!”

The child learned fast so that by mid-morning they were gone and I knew that was ‘it’ until the following spring. How I missed them!

Our daughter, Lonny, from Alberta came home for a weekend bringing a Pomeranian doggie with her during the middle of another one of the owl sojourns.

Potty time outside came before bedtime. Great Bold Owl swooped down, nails extended to take the dog but only Lonny’s quick action saved her pet.

Had the owl eaten the dog, we would have found her bones and fur in pebbles underneath the nesting tree. Those souvenirs would not have been desirable.