Update from Andy Huber: “Just to keep you updated…last night the mother led the fledglings back to the original nest site. I fed her there this evening. She has now taken them on a quarter-mile (diameter) circle in 16 days. Also this evening, a friend and I saw two great horned owls in the area. One was where the GGO male had been taken, and the other was in the area where the mother and chicks had just left.
Rancher, conservationists and owl-lovers, Andy Huber and his wife are co-parenting a family of Great Gray Owls. The Hubers own a ranch near
Le La Grande in northeastern Oregon’s Blue Mountains. This spring a couple of GGOs began raising a family. One day Andy saw a Great Horned carrying off the body of the male GGO. The following tragic morning the Hubers awoke to see Great Gray Owl feathers scattered on the ground. That left a widowed GGO with a nestful to raise. The Hubers pitched in. Friends loaned them live traps with which to catch small mammals. The adult female quickly learned to grab the offered prey. Many weeks of maturing are ahead of the fledglings but the Hubers persist. Here is a selection of photos of the Huber owls: Yes, there are four owlets in this family. Each could eat up to four small rodents daily, and mom needs to eat, too. The most plentiful prey in the vicinity right now is kangaroo mice. It will be at least two more months before these young will be able to do any effective hunting of their own…probably.
The Great Gray Owl book I co-authored is now available for sale. Click here for details. The book will be on sale at the Mountain Bird Festival here in Ashland this weekend. Next week my co-author and the book’s photographer, Peter Thiemann, will be selling copies at the OBA meeting in Sutherlin.