Sleepy mother owl cuddles with her chick in the nest

Great horned owls are one of the most spectacular of the owls. They are large and magnificent birds, and as predators, they are capable of taking down animals even larger than themselves. They have been known to take down even large raptors such as osprey, falcons, and other owls. With a grip strength of 28 pounds, their talons are capable of breaking the spine of even large prey. Crows are often heard cawing in large numbers, agitated by the presence of a great horned owl, which is their most dangerous predator. Crows will gather to mob and chase these owls until they leave the area entirely. Great horned owls also have the deepest voice of the owls and their calls are very distinctive. This mother owl is watching her surroundings carefully, opening her eyes occasionally as she nods off with her baby in the nest. The owl chicks have downy feathers and they are very soft and fluffy. Soon, this one will grow flight feathers and it will leave the nest, learning to hunt from its parents. The mother seems to drift off then wake up, always on the lookout for danger. These owls have extremely large eyes and pupils that dilate a great deal, giving them incredible vision in the dark, as well as acuity in the daytime. Great horned owls also have disc feathers near their ears that direct sound, increasing their ability to hear even the faintest of sounds. They are the quintessential owl, closely resembling the owls that we see in books and on television. This nature enthusiast was thrilled to capture video and photos of this beautiful pair ion the nest.