NFR "Annie" the Owl is growing up

riseform

Active Member
#1
While owls have nothing to do with fishing, I think most of us would agree that seeing an owl while fishing makes the day that much better. Many of the owls I've seen in the wild have been on fishing/camping trips, usually in fading light.

Last August, I was hiking with my daughter in a forested area of Cle Elum that would come within a few hundred yards of being consumed by the Taylor Bridge fire several days later. On that hike, we had the unusual luck of seeing two Great Horned owls during daylight hours. Instead of leaving the area when taking flight, they would land close enough that we could spot them again after a bit of hiking.


Later that evening, we realized why. We spotted a lighter colored juvenile owl testing its feet on a branch,


awkwardly spreading its wings


and looking at the world through goofy asymmetric pupils with a Steven Tyler feather hanging from its side.


I wasn't sure if the anisocoria (hence the name Annie) was a normal finding for a juvenile owl or if it reflected some neurological problem with the owl. I've often wondered how Annie did given the fire the following week and the interesting ocular findings.

This weekend, in that same area of the woods, we heard the distant hoot of a Great horned owl. We grabbed a camera and tracked the source, finding a lightly colored owl in the trees. In our minds, we wondered if we were looking at our same juvenile owl. Blowing up the photo, we're pretty convinced we've spotted Annie looking quite healthy 8 months later.

 

McNasty

Canyon Lurker
#2
thats cool, i love owls. my grandpa tagged owls for fish and wildlife for 50 years or so. i remember always goin up the naches area and putting mice on a big stick luring the owls down. so much fun.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#5
Great Horned Owls are cool. When they give you the stare like in your 1st picture you know better than mess with one. We have several that nest in the woods behind our house and see them regularly. Very cool.
 

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
#7
Great shots, Nick! We have either Great Horned or Barrred Owls in the woods around us, and while we hear them, I've never seen one.
 

Roper

Idiot Savant
#11
We often hear them at dusk and early evening at the property but have not spotted one yet. Neat photos, thanks for posting them.