April 29, 2007
After proving elusive for nearly three weeks, our cameras again captured the Yosemite Great Horned Owl perched in his (or her) oak tree cavity (see arrow.) The photo presents a sense of "place," defining the homestead relative to its proximity to Upper Yosemite Falls. During the period since our last encounter the owl's distinctive hoot has been heard several times in the nearby forest but we were unable to make visual contact.
As time has passed and this is now late April, we are less hopeful that the owl has mated and incubated a clutch of chicks, though mating calls were heard a number of times during January and February between this owl and a potential partner. If a pairing had occured and been successful we would have expected the young owls to have fledged by now and be visible on nearby branches. We do, however, still maintain a glimmer of hope insofar as a late season mating could bring the fledglings into view as late as mid-May.
By the intense stare leveled at us in the photo here, we couldn't help but wonder if the owl was familiar with the Dracula character played by actor Bela Lugosi.
See more NEW IMAGES in the "WILDLIFE" gallery.
Watch this space for further details if newly-minted chicks should surface.