YOUR PIX: Birth, peril, survival: days in the lives of an owl family

Photo by Cindy Harmeyer


Cindy Harmeyer, a frequent contributor of outstanding wildlife photographs to YOUR PIX, has spent months recording the daily activities of an owl family living in a wooded area near her Saukville home. Cindy explains:

“I had the pleasure of watching a great horned owl family this winter and into spring. It started with the hooting mating calls at dusk in February and led to finding the owl nesting in a tree hole in March.

“The pair had three owlets. One fell from the nest on April 7 and I called Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to rescue it. They do not know if it will be eligible for release this fall because of its injuries. I noticed a second owlet missing right after the April 15 snowstorm. On this same day I got a great photo of the adult owl with its prey, possibly a hawk or another owl.

“Day by day and week by week my friend Jody and I watched the adult owl care for the remaining owlet. We started to call him or her Ollie. On April 27, the owlet was out of the nest and perched on a dead log. I do not believe it could fly yet but the mother was around keeping watch. As days passed we would find the young owl perched on low branches, eventually getting higher and higher. On May 9, I finally saw Ollie fly.

“Mother and owlet are still around, but they are getting harder to find. Jody recently witnessed the mom feeding Ollie a chipmunk.

“I have hundreds of photographs of the owl family, including these of the adult owl with its prey and the owlet in a tree hole and on a branch on its first day out of the nest. It has been quite an amazing story to witness and photograph.” 


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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