Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Great Hurt Owl

Riding down a long, straight country highway, I looked out into the forests in the quail plantation country. You never know what you might see. I did spot something.  At first, I  thought it was a young eagle, as it was a very large, dark bird in a pine back a ways off the road. B kindly doubled back so I could try to find it again. Just as we were giving up, I saw it. It was a great horned owl.

On closer inspection, I could see that it was hurt. In fact all but a few of the "horn" tuffs on its right side were missing. The eye appears swollen and it looks bloody above it. The dark areas on the body are where the outer, longer feathers are missing. Some are wing feathers which may explain why it did not flee when I approached the fence for a closer shot.

Poor thing. It made us wonder what the story was. A territory or mating fight? (I later read that they mate in the winter, so that wasn't it.) A hungry bobcat or coyote? Or did it fly into the path of a car. We will never know.

As an aside: this is our 1300th post on this blog.  Whoooo'd a-thunk it?

No comments: