Natural Highlights: Nesting Great Horned Owls


Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) are very early nesters in Tennessee, often laying eggs in late January.  This makes sense because owls hunt at night and can take advantage of short winter days, and because the eggs (usually 1-3) need about 33 days of incubation before hatching.  It's another 7 weeks until the young owls fledge and 2 or 3 more weeks to become competent flyers. The young will remain with their parents, learning to hunt and relying on them for support, until fall. Because Great Horned Owls spend so much of each year raising their offspring, it pays to get a very early start. Courtship begins in late fall. Owls often utilize an old nest left by another species such as a Great Blue Heron or a Gray Squirrel.

Learn more about Great Horned Owls here.

TN Watchable Wildlife - Great Horned Owl

Short video of female Great Horned Owl on the nest last January.

Live Nest Cam

Posted by Cathy Justis at 1:09 PM