At nearly four weeks a fledged great gray owlet has jumped from its nest to the forest floor. Free from the confines of the nest, (I too am finally freed from the solitary confinement of my photo blind) the owlet walks and leaps to a place to perch.
Fledged owlets move about fifty to a hundred feet every day, picking out a slanting tree to climb. The ground is a dangerous place for the young, flightless owls. The mobile owl family becomes more difficult to locate by the day.
Adults continue to care for their owlets. The female (above), usually staying near the owlets, will do some hunting when an opportunity presents itself.
The female with a young snowshoe hare delivered by her mate.
The snowshoe hare, large prey for a great gray owl, will feed her and her owlets for a day. The prey is cached on the ground between feedings.
Female perches on log after caching the snowshoe hare.
Adult female drinking.
Regurgitated great gray owl pellets and white spruce cones on a bed of sphagnum moss below an owlets perch.
Female delivers her owlet a freshly caught red-backed vole. Fledged owlets swallow voles whole.
A tough job but it must be done.