Great horned owl adult and one owlet, 2 Apr 2016, Anderson Bridge, Schenley Park (photo by Kate St. John)
(If you subscribe to PABIRDS you saw this news over the weekend.)
After the great horned owl fledgling was rescued in Schenley Park on Tuesday March 29 and an adult was seen nearby on Thursday morning, I made it my mission to find the nest. At first I came up empty. There were no big stick nests in any of the hillside trees.
Then, late Friday afternoon I took another look at the underside of the Anderson Bridge.
Faintly through the trees I saw two owlets walking on a girder!
On Saturday I brought my scope and discovered that the “branching” owlets and their mother were quite visible from the Junction Hollow Bike Trail below the bridge. Here are two (lousy!) photographs I took through my scope.
Above, mother owl and one owlet pose on the girder. Below, the second owlet is perched just below the nest. Later he flew from girder to girder and landed near his mother. The blue box highlights him in the washed-out photo.
Second owlet at Anderson Bridge great horned owl nest, Schenley Park, 2 Apr 2016 (photo by Kate St. John)
On Sunday I visited the trail again and Nathan Mallory used my scope to take this photo of the two owlets sleeping. You can see their stick nest above them on the lattice.
Two great horned owlets sleeping near their nest under the Anderson Bridge, 3 Apr 2016 (photo by Nathan Mallory)
So there were three owlets in this nest. The first is in rehab. The other two will probably fly soon.
p.s. As you can see, the Anderson Bridge is very rusty! It will be completely replaced in a few years, after the Greenfield Bridge is done.
(photos by Kate St. John and Nathan Mallory)