What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Great Horned Owlet

Posted by Jacob Malcomb,
North Country explorer from
May 13, 2014

While running along the Sandbanks trail in late afternoon, my friend spotted a fuzzy football-sized animal perched on top of a log. After a quick double take, he realized it was a fledgling great horned owl. It obviously couldn't fly, but puffed its chest up defensively and made clicking noises to make sure we didn't get any closer. After then I returned on my bike to find the owl in the exact same spot, looking vulnerable in the fading light. I called Adirondack Raptors to determine whether this was normal behavior for a young great horned owl.

I learned that fledgling great horned owls may spend up to a month on the forest floor after leaving the nest, and that although they appear defenseless, that mom is never too far away. I was advised against returning at night, because the mother owl would attack to defend her young, instinctively going for the eyes and face. I got off the phone feeling lucky to have my face intact, and inspired by an encounter with a species that we rarely get to see up close.


Jennifer Berbrich

What an awesome thing to see!

Posted: 07/01/2014 - 21:23

Kara Piergentili

What a great encounter, thank you for sharing!

Posted: 08/27/2014 - 11:45