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Baby Great Horned Owl!

A Great Horned Owl hatched at our Brookville site!

Even though it is located in the middle of Nassau County, the 16 acres of the Brookville Environmental Center is surrounded by golf courses and a horse farm making it feel very remote from all-things-surburban!. 

And it is why perhaps that a pair of Great Horned owls chose it as their nesting place!  We've been tracking the development of the what appears to be just one chick. The pictures in the photo gallery at right begin on April 1st with our first sighting. 

According to Program Specialist Bill Monahan, here are some facts about Great Horned Owls:

  • Scientific name Bubo virginianus
  • They pair up in December and call to each other and they may mate for life. They mate in late January and early February.
  • In the Northeast, they usually have 1-2 young but in the West the can have as many as 6. The deciding factor is the amount of food available.
  • Both parents may help with sitting on the nest (one source said the Females do all the sitting Male feeds the female) but both help in feeding the young.
  • Eggs hatch in 28 -37 days. The young fledge in 5-7 weeks or at least move from the nest to a branch.
  • Adults continue to feed the young for another month or two but sometimes longer.
  • They typically hunt small rodents and rabbits but have been known to eat domestic cats and dogs if the opportunity presents itself!                   

Great Horned Owl Photo Gallery: April 2014

Great Horned Owl Photo Gallery: May 2014