We recently made a visit to the Grande Ronde valley in the Northeast corner of Oregon to look for Great Gray Owls. Great Grays are the largest (by size) owl in the U.S. - up to twenty-seven inches tall and with a fifty-two inch wing span. Up in the Blue Mountains there are a number of active Great Gray Owl nests.
One place we visited was a farm in the hills on the East side of the valley. There were four baby owls with a single parent. The male, who would normally take care of the owlets after fledging, had been killed by a Great Horned Owl. This left the mother owl to do the father's job of feeding the youngsters and teaching them to fly and hunt. The owner of the property has taken on the task of supplementing the owl family's food supply by capturing mice and voles in live traps and providing them for the mother owl. She takes these gifts and feeds the youngsters.
Jody and I want to thank the owners for taking care of this family and sharing the experience with us. It was a remarkable, truly once in a lifetime, experience.