Yellowstone Reports

Printer-friendly version

2023 Great Gray Owl Nest Log

August 3rd thru August 14th
by Dan Hartman

Sept. 12, 2023

     August 3rd  Cindy and I arrived at 7:30am.  Pouring rain, couldn't find the male hunting.  Finally located the chicks in the woods to the south.  One chick flew a short ways.  Both were 50 feet up dead trees.  Our chick seemed frustrated and confused by the rain.  Kept walking back and forth on branches with its wings flopping.  The rain and mosquitoes chased us out at 8:30am.

     August 6th  Great horned owl chicks at Beartooth Lake fledged on August 3rd and 5th.   Arrived at the trail to great gray owls at 6:45am.  Five minutes into the woods, I flushed what I believe to be the female great gray from our nest.  For the next 3 1/2 hours, I filmed her hunting through the aspens at round meadow.  She hit the ground twice, but never caught anything.  Left at 10:30 with the owl still visible.

     August 7th  Arrived at the grays at 7:30am.  Male flew into timber and fed a chick.  Soon returned to hunting tree and caught another gopher and fed other chick.  Male missed twice.  Left at 9:00am.

     August 8th  Arrived at 7:30am.  Male hunting from its tree.  Took 1 1/2 hours before it finally attacked the ground.  Missed.  Missed again.  At 9:15 flew out and hunted from sage tops for 1/2 hour.  Left at 10:00am.

     August 10th  Cindy and I arrived at 7:30am.  Couldn't spot or hear the owls for 40 minutes.  Finally heard one chirp to the east.  We climbed up through an aspen grove and found the chicks below us in an aspen-fir mix.  Watched the chicks for an hour.  No sign of the male.  On our way out we came across the female in the same spot I found her on Sunday.  She stayed in the aspens and eventually dropped to the ground and grabbed a gopher at 10:15am.  Left at 10:30am.

     August 14th  Cindy and I arrived at 7:20am.  Walked the cowtrail to the end of timber and back.  No sight or sound of the chicks or adults.  Left at 8:20am.

     Have not spotted the owl family again.


View slide show