Baby Owls and Being a Child Again
Three weeks ago, I found a Great Horned Owl’s nest in a giant cottonwood in the middle of a rancher’s field. I was cycling just south of Jackson, Wyoming, where I now live. One adult owl was sitting in the nest, the other on a nearby branch. Over the next week, I told several friends about the nest. None of my friends are birders, but they love the outdoors and most are long-time Jackson Hole residents. One of them offered to come out and bring a spotting scope, so we met along the bike path that runs near the field and set up the scope. That first time out, we only saw the merest hint of a grey fluff ball beside the adult, but they were enchanted. Then last night we met again, and as one after another took their turn at the scope (keeping appropriate social distancing and being careful not to touch the scope!), I heard exclamation after exclamation: “Oh my, he’s as tall as the mother!” and “I can see all three, you have to look at this!” and best of all, “He is looking right at me, like he’s looking into my soul!” And all the while, they were all talking excitedly, asking questions of me, the only birder in the group, although I am far from an expert. And I thought, as I cycled home in the late afternoon sun with the Tetons snowy and spectacular in front of me, what a wonderful thing that all of us could feel such a sense of delight and wonder at watching two baby owls come into the world.