Ward Reservation: Great Horned Owl & Pileated!

March 1, 2018 in Great Horned Owl

_W7I1039-002Made an enjoyable morning visit to the Ward Reservation in Andover and North Andover.  The Ward Reservation is a 704-acre open space reserve 20 miles north of Boston. The reserve, managed by the land conservation non-profit organization The Trustees of Reservations, is notable for its open drumlin hilltops and vistas encompassing Boston and beyond. The Ward Reservation offers 13 miles of trails and former woods roads available for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross country skiing.

The Great Horned Owl nest is occupied again this year.  The female has been incubating eggs for about the past 2 weeks.  While quietly watching from a distance, she peeked up for a few moments, providing a nice look and opportunity for one quick image.

The female begins brooding immediately after laying first egg.  The incubation period typically runs about 30-37 days.  Incubation is performed only by the female.  She remains on nest throughout, and the male delivers prey to her at intervals throughout night; first prey delivery generally takes place shortly after dark.

Reference cited:

Artuso, Christian, C. Stuart Houston, Dwight G. Smith and Christoph Rohner. 2013. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.372