Swamp at Huron Natural AreaI received a tip from a couple of birders/photographers that a family of Great Horned Owls lived in the vicinity of a swamp just a few minutes from our home. I have seen Snowy Owls in the winter but have never seen any other type of owl in the wild. There have been various "Owl Prowls" at local conservation areas but they take place after dark and are more about hearing than seeing these birds. The trail was familiar to me but I had to go off the path and climb a sizable esker before descending to a small creek and swamp. Every step I took in the bush stirred up mosquitoes but when I got to the opening, a breeze kept them at bay. I sat on a mossy log and took a picture of the view. Scanning with binoculars, I found the juvenile Great Horned Owl in a pine tree in the opposite end of the swamp. I was surprised to make the discovery at three in the afternoon.
Coyote Pup (Andre Secours)The swamp was inaccessible by foot beyond where I stood which is likely why it offered such a variety of birds and animals. Many other creatures with young were hidden in the vegetation. But I was very happy to find the owl, a species that is not rare, but is rarely seen due to its secretive ways.