Local Tampa photographer Michael White messaged me today, asking about where to find owls in Fort DeSoto Park here in Pinellas County. Now, I’ve been going to Fort DeSoto for years and haven’t seen an owl, so my interest was piqued. After poking around on Google, I ran across a local blog mentioning a Great Horned Owl with a fledgling in a nest, easily accessible by the North Beach. As I had some free time in the afternoon, I set out to see if I could find them!
I started at the north end of the North Beach, and walking through the pines near the water, I spotted some interesting shore birds, including this Black-Bellied Plover:
Onward I went, and after much searching, I finally located the Australian pine with the dozing mother owl. I was able to get relatively close and take quite a few pictures:
Suddenly, looking at a branch several feet below the mother, I spotted the fledgling. He was out of the nest, but huddling within a sheltered part of the tree making it difficult to get a clear photo. He was getting large, maybe 2/3 the size of the mother, but he still had a quite fuzzy head:
All in all, a successful afternoon, and some good pictures to go along with it!
Your 2nd picture (first owl) is spectacular! All great but love that one! Haven’t checked in here for a while, looks like you’ve been busy. Will have to check out some of your tuts and more pics later.
Great job, Mike. 🙂 The photos are fantastic !!
These photos are spectacular! I love reading your postings about birding, Mike. Fascinating subject – one I know little about, but am enjoying the opportunities to learn. Thank you!
Had to check out your blog after seeing your owl pictures at NAPP. Awesome shots!