Yellowstone Reports

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Still Searching

Time to give up????
by Dan Hartman

July 24, 2018

     I know, I know. It's time to give up.  I just cant believe I can't come up with just one great gray owl.  

     So Cindy and I ventured down to Canyon for a look in the meadows just to the south.

     Over the years, I've been about 50/50 on spotting grays there, although I've never come across a nest site.  

     We checked out the first meadow from the road side, then parked 100 yards down the highway.  From here we bushwacked west for three or four hundred yards paralleling a large meadow.  We then cut to the north until we entered the top of the second meadow.  I also call this "the barrel meadow" because of a big rusty barrel that stands upright in the center.  Today it is mostly hidden in the waist high grass.

     I left Cindy here because the tall grass was extremely wet.  Going on to the third meadow, I had to follow a narrow runway lined with dense forests.  Along the way were good perches an owl would be sure to use.  But, I found no sign.

     Reaching the third meadow, I scanned the edges.


     A squirrel began to chatter to my left.  Suddenly a large bird soared across the meadows far end.

     An owl?  It could have been a goshawk.

     I waded the deep grass to try for a closer look.  By now I was soaked up to mid thigh.  To my right lay a recently ripped up log.  This time of year I often come across black bears in here.  Grizzlies have usually moved on by early June.

     Finally, I spotted the gray bird perched deep in the timber.  It was definately an owl, but before I could identify the type, the owl took off, re-crossing the meadow.

     Off I trudged to find it's new perch.  I soon found the owl sitting high.  This time I had a good look before it took flight again.

     Great Horned Owl.


     Well, that's that.

    I could have hiked on to the fourth meadow, but didn't really see the need.


Great horned owl