[Tweeters] Great Horned - Barred Owls

Stan Bezimienny grzebiuszkaziemna at gmail.com
Mon Oct 24 14:34:29 PDT 2022

Does anyone have any experience with Great Horned Owls being displaced/predated on by Barred Owls? I am trying to interpret my observations, the only tidbit of information I found was what Carol Riddell posted in “My Edmonds News” in March 2020: “ The Great Horned Owl used to be seen or heard in the Edmonds area years ago. Birders with many years of local experience have mentioned reports of nesting in Southwest County Park. Then, whether it was coincidental or causative, Great Horned Owl reports declined as Barred Owls moved into the area. ”.

Here are the facts:

In Shelton View Forest (Bothell) I easily found (heard, saw) GHO in 2020, photographed them on some occasions. GHO were known for a time to nest there, locals supposedly see them often, Boy Scouts installed nesting platforms etc.
In 2021 I still saw adults (too early in the day to photograph, low light). Interestingly, I also wittnessed a strange event: 2 juveniles sitting together in a situation very awkward to photograph, well below the grade (I was ona ridge, SVF has steep parts) in rather dense vegetation. While I was trying to find a clean angle and setting my big tripod/big lens rig, I saw an owl crashing down through the branches towards the juveniles, then everybody disappearing below. Shortly after, short distance down the trail, I observed/photographed an adult BO feeding, with the bill bloodied etc., but I could not see the prey item (high on a tree, view obstructed by branches, BO turned back). This was the first time I saw BO in SVF.
In 2022 on several occasions I photographed BO raising 2 young. Easily seen, and heard. No GHO seen/heard.

Caveat: this are only late spring/summer observations, I need to go and check in late winter/early spring in 2023.

Are the GHO gone? There is a SVF society of sorts, with a website ect., but I am not sure anyone really looks. And then, the negative is harder to report than positive.

I would appreciate yout thoughts,

Stan M
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