Tag Archives: owl

The giant owl and those giant claws

While the giant owl would probably have been unsuitable for falconry, it still would have been amazing to see alive.

TwilightBeasts

When we talk of megafauna we tend to think of the wild and wonderful mammals of the Pleistocene and Pliocene. Megafauna are all the fabulous big and familiar exciting beasts, like mammoths, giant sloths and sabre-tooths, right? Wrong. We don’t automatically think of avian taxa, but we really should as some of them are truly wonderful! Like this chappie here; Ornimegalonyx, the Giant Cuban Owl.

If Hedwig had been an Ornimegalonyx, I suspect Harry would not have had as much grief from Dementors! Standing at over a metre high, with ferocious claws (the Latin name translates as ‘The Bird of the Giant Claws’), this Pleistocene feathered friend was not to be messed with. Ornimegalonyx spp were the biggest owls ever to walk the earth. Remains of these giant flightless birds have been found at rare locations in Cuba. One of these was Sierra de Sumadero, which…

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Weekend Expedition 45: Nesting Great Horned Owls!

Some great photos of Great horned owls at a nest.

Ibycter

IMG_9684

So yesterday, my brother Colin and I went out to see a hummingbird nest…And I realized we were quite near an area which has supported nesting Great Horned Owls for a number of years. I had never really had a tripod with me or a fast lens, so I had never gone into this dark and gloomy part of the forest to find it. Having both things on hand this time, we went to have a look, and to our surprise, the nest was quite visible from a nearby walking path!  What a great day out!

IMG_9802 Here we can see one of the chicks poking its head out to have a look. It may seem from these pictures that the adult was concerned we were there, but the majority of the time the bird seemed to be snoozing, only briefly opening its eyes.

IMG_9822 Here the adult does some preening, while…

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