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Great Horned Owl Showdown in Woodway

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There we were in the forest on a quest to spot and capture the image of a Great horned owl. The temperature was cool, the air moist and the atmosphere calm. We knew it was just a matter of time because in previous days we had spotted our friends.  

Our perseverance paid off! We were rewarded with the sighting of a female owl incubating her eggs in the crux of a high tree. It’s amazing how well camouflaged these birds can be! It takes a lot of patience and persistence to spot these crafty predators. Not far away we found a dutiful male keeping watch over his territory. He was positioned above the nest and ready to defend his family at all costs.  

After about an hour of lurking we were rewarded with a front row seat to nature’s theater. Suddenly, two ravens appeared cawing in unison to menace the male owl. In response, the male hooted and revealed his location. The mood tensed and the cackling ravens clearly aggravated the female owl in her nest. There was brief communication between the owls, and it became clear that action was necessary. The Ravens drew closer to the male teasing him. They charged and retreated a few times before he finally acted.  

We stood in awe as he revealed his talons and charged the two bullies to defend his position and confirm his rank among the food chain. The group continued their intimidation for a while…cackling and charging the male.  Ultimately, the Great Horned Owl lived up to his name and defended his territory against the tenacious pests. After his victory, he graced us with a proud pose before returning to his nearby roost and continuing his dutiful watch over his mate and their young.  

Nature did not disappoint…!

We also had a visit from a Cooper’s Hawk and the common to the PNW, but often hard to see, Pacific Wren. See them in the pictures below.  

Things to Note:

  • Our experience was viewed at a very safe distance. Having a great scope/binoculars/ magnified zoom made this seem like we were far closer than we were. When observing any wildlife please be sure to maintain a safe distance.
  • Please check out our resources page to learn more about the equipment we used to take these shots!
  • Most of these shots were taken with the Sony a7 with a Sony FE 200-600mm lens.



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One Comment

  1. Jennifer Jennifer

    Love these photos!

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