Family of Great Horned Owls at High Park / April 15, 2019

It was a real thrill for all of us to see two adult Great Horned Owls with two chicks high in a group of White Pine trees a little to the north of the western exit of the High Park Zoo. In 13 years of leading these walks, this is only the second time that we have been able to observe these magnificent creatures.

Here are some photos taken of the first owl at Lambton Woods in 2010:

Here are today’s owls perched very near the top of enormous pines:

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Here is the second adult who was curled up in a different pine:

Great Horned Owl

Some photos of the two chicks:

Some scenes from the park on this 2 degree, windy day with constant light rain , even snow at times, morning:

Chickadees will feed from your hand in some parks but it is unusual to have a Downy Woodpecker do so:

Other birds:

Wood Ducks (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (male)
Eastern Phoebe
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Northern Cardinal (male)
Hairy Woodpecker (male)
Brown Creeper
Double-crested Cormorant

Species list: double-crested cormorant, Canada goose, mallard, wood duck, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, great horned owl, northern flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, eastern phoebe, black-capped chickadee, winter wren, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, golden-crowned kinglet, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, common grackle, brown-headed cowbird, northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, song sparrow.  (24 species)

Here are the emerging leaves of one of the loveliest spring flowers; Marsh-marigold:

Marsh-marigold (Catha palustris)

Today’s group:


The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches.       – Walt Whitman (1819–92)

Miles Hearn

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