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Gray Owl mom lets us peek at her eggs. Snapshot by Patty Mougey

Gray Owl mom lets us peek at her eggs. Snapshot by Patty Mougey

All About Owls with Expert Denver Holt, Live Tuesday!

Founder and President of Owl Research Institute and host of explore’s new Great Gray Owl Cam and fan favorite Great Horned Owl Cam Denver Holt will join us Tuesday, May 2nd at 5pm ET / 2pm PT on the Great Gray Owl Cam. It’s your chance to learn about the new cam and any other owl questions you may have by asking the expert!

The owl season is in full swing, with a family of two owlets already being raised on the Great Horned nest and a clutch of Great Gray Owl eggs to hatch soon. So join us for the first owl live chat of the year by tuning in and asking your questions in the comments section!

Denver Holt has been researching owls for 40 years, his work featured in National Geographic Magazine, the New York Times, and several big media outlets, and focuses on environmental education and wildlife conservation.

  • oh_please

    Does she ever leave the nest?, or is daddy owl the sole provider of meals? Are GGO’s usually nocturnal? Love watching this cam thank you!

    • Jack Rantowich

      Both female Owls here have left the nest to provide food for themselves and the owlets in the GHO nest….

      • oh_please

        TY So much Jack!

        • https://instagurum.com/tag/instagram instagram photos

          The owl season is in full swing, with a family of two owlets already being raised on the Great Horned nest and a clutch of Great Gray Owl eggs to hatch soon. So join us for the first owl live chat of the year by tuning in and asking your questions in the comments section!

  • Chippie

    What are the major behavioral differences between Great Greys and Great Horneds?

    I’ve noticed theses GGOs make very different sounds. Their sounds are also very quiet for their size. Is that usual or are they trying to be quiet so as not to call attention to the nest? Do most owl species sound very different from each other?

  • Chippie

    Do you know of instances where an owlet that has fledged returns to the nest for more than a few hours?

    At Alessondra’s OKC GHO nest, the first owlet to fledge came back after a week.
    It has been on the nest for 2 days.

    The extenuating circumstance is that the owls “adopted” an orphaned GHO owlet a few weeks ago. The eldest owlet was very bonded with and protective of the adoptee. It appears that the eldest owlet is a female and the adoptee a male. The adoptee was the only owlet left on the nest alone for 24 hours after the natural born owlets had fledged. I know we should not anthropomorphasize , but could this elder fledged owlet have returned to keep this adoptee owlet company until it is ready to fledge? They have been spending much time cuddling.

    The other factor is that they had very severe storms there over the past few days. Could that have driven the older owlet back to the nest?

    This seems like highly unusual behavior. Is it? The parents are readily bringing both of them a lot of food instead of withholding food to encourage fledging of the adoptee.

    Very interested to hear what your opinion is on this!

    • judalee

      Thank you for asking this. I was just going to ask this question. I love the okc owl nest and especially this year with the adoptee. This is amazing to see a fledged owlett return to the nest for the adoptee owlett.

      • Chippie

        I know! It has just been an amazing ride for the nest this year. Last night it was great to see Primo flying on and off the nest, trying to encourage Principio to come along. I’m thinking tonight might be the night!

        I really hope Denver gives us an opinion. During last year’s chat he mentioned that his area of expertise is the great white snowy owl. He said some day he hopes to study the GHOs.

        • judalee

          The fellow asked the question but didn’t relate it to the OKC owls. We didn’t get an answer really. I was upset Chippie. I love owls. I have known people over the years that were so intrigued with them that they had all kinds of owl trinkets and pictures of them.

          • Chippie

            Me too. I wish his assistant had actually read my full question with the details. Hopefully Altera will nest there again in future years and it will be interesting to see if any of her other offspring do the same Thing. I have always loved owls. There is something very magical about them. Especially this great Gray owl we are watching now!

      • Chippie

        I know! Even wild animals do you have feelings and emotions. I really think Primo has very strong maternal instincts and she has been so affectionate and caring with him since the beginning that I wouldn’t be surprised if she returned To be with him. Last night it seemed like she was trying to encourage him to fledge since she was on and off the nest so much

  • eiguoc

    How many times a day do the chicks get fed and would mom pull off smaller pieces of meat for them?

  • Jack Rantowich

    As I watch the incubating, the hatching I see that the Great Gray and the Great Horned owls will hunt during the day. Is this common or is because of the eggs and owlets that are on the way?

    The other reason why I am asking is because I was able to photograph both during mid-day hours…. and in the 9 years of visiting YNP I have never seen this before…

    • Chippie

      Did you see them hunting in person or were they food deliveries to the nest? Owls usually hunt at dawn and dusk and they can stash food in the crooks of trees to be delivered later.

  • Jack Rantowich

    What makes up the hearing ability a the Great Gray?

    The reason why I ask is because, while photographing the Great Gray, it was in the pouring rain, and the 1st dive was unsuccessful but the GG came up with vole the second time. I know each variable makes it’s own noise, be it the wind, the rain falling or the rodent making the noise. It’s just remarkable, mind boggling to be able to decipher what is what….

  • Jack Rantowich

    At what stage do the darker feathers come in with the GHO?

    The one pictured doesn’t seem to have as dark feathers as the Female and Male in the Charlo nest. Would the one pictured be a sub-adult? or do the color in feathers vary in adults?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/879b0534ee1c7eb76a5e204344b007663732998cbbfb1b828e54b99eaf1eff54.jpg

    • Chippie

      The feather colorings can vary depending upon the regions they are in.

      • Jack Rantowich

        Probably size as well…. Thanks…

        • Chippie

          I’ve watched a number of GHO nests all over the country and their markings often seem to vary so that they blend in more with their scenery – maybe for camaflouge? The GHOs here on explore though have much darker colorings than most, they really blend in well with the trees.

          • Jack Rantowich

            I think both Owls blend in extremely well. I could only imagine how many that I’ve actually hike right on by in YNP…. lol

  • Jack Rantowich

    What are the stages of feathers when they start to come in on a GH owlet?

    And are they the same feather stages on GG owlets?

    Besides the color difference on the GG & GH, are there any other differences in either of there feathers?

  • Sherry Lauson

    I have just started watching this site and am very excited to watch the birds. They are just fascinating and I am totally hooked. I have noticed in looking back at older screenshots that some eggs don’t seem to hatch. What does the owl do with those eggs?

    • Chippie

      In some nests I’ve watched they remove them- shove them overboard- in others they just remain on the nests all season- like the current GHO nest in the tree stump out in Arizona.

  • Terry

    Looking forward to his talk. He was here on Cape Cod in March and spoke to the Cape Cod Bird Club – very interesting. At the time I had no idea of his connection to the Great Horned Owl cam here, but happened to post a link to that cam on our website just the day before his talk. Now, those chicks are huge! Can’t wait to see the new chicks.

  • Terry

    Is there a particular page to go to for his talk?

    • Jack Rantowich

      I believe both owl cams will go live with Denver Holt…

    • Chippie

      I just noticed that it says the Great Grey owl cam

      • Jack Rantowich

        Yep, GG cam 😉

  • Terry

    Will the male owl bring food in only at night, or will he hunt during the day if necessary? Or, does the female feed them only at night?

    • Jack Rantowich

      I’ve seen the GG bring in food during the day, but I can’t recall the GH during the day….

  • Spudess

    How long does the family stay together after the youngest owlet fledges the nest?

  • Jack Rantowich

    We can see and hear you………….

  • cathy

    there’s a live mouse that comes into the GH nest at night and runs around while mom is there. it seems to be unnoticed or ignored despite the owls excellent hearing and sight, why is that?

  • Jack Rantowich

    What exactly is a pellet?

    • Chippie

      Owls eat the entire animal but can only digest the meat. So they periodically spit out pellets that are made up of the undigested portions – bones beaks fur etc.

      • Jack Rantowich

        I actually googled it when the discussion was going on.. lol thanks chippie…

        • Chippie

          Glad you got the info. Have you ever seen a great horned owl defensive display? Really amazing to see.

  • Mairzedotes

    Enjoyed this very much thank you for all that make it possible!

  • Bernice Schick

    If you look around the base of large trees where owls might roost you will find an owl pellet. Super cool for kids to pull apart and see the tiny little bones of small mammals the owls have eaten. Just fur and little mini bones, pretty neat.

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