Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two Great Birds of Prey Surprises~

Thank you all so much, yes, I am alive and hopefully well!

I say hopefully because for the first time in living on these 2 plus acres for 32 years, I have had 7, yes, SEVEN DEER TICKS, embedding themselves on me in the last week as well, as 2 Wood Ticks, which can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and I am on preventative medication of Doxycycline for a week.  
We are hoping and praying of course that none of the 7 Deer Ticks carried the dreaded Lymes Disease bacteria.  
Between photographing the Red-Shouldered Hawk nest for this season ( Oh my and that is another story, coming soon, for my 4 years blogversary presentation...whew I took just over 4, 000 images since February 27 th and I am still not done...coming soon!), and fencing in a smaller, more accessible area for the dogs, I must have gotten into a mass of these bad bugs!  
I slather myself always in Skin So Soft and also spray on Cutter.  
The grass is kept mowed and yet, I still managed to gather them on, one, or even two at a time, just plain awful!  
One of the sites was infected, but we are watching all bite areas, for any bulls-eye ring to form, a rash, or other symptoms which can take a couple of weeks to determine.  
I am so not desiring any of those symptoms and so I remain calm in my thinking!

I recently joined the Beckhem Bird Club.  
I knew that I would not be able to attend their meetings, but wanted to get their alerts to neat birds to photograph.  
Well, I got no alerts, but a letter stating that a group of them had gone to Cave Hill Cemetery and had viewed 2 down covered Owlets back the first week in April.  
Hmm, and how come I never knew about that? 
That was fine...I know Cave Hill very well and after viewing the recent great Horned Owl nest near us, I knew what to look for.  
There was only 2 problems...Cave Hill Cemetery is HUGE and the green of Spring was in full foliage.  
I went anyway!

So I drove around aimlessly in search of a very large nest, that would more than likely not be visible.  
Just when I was about to give up, I heard them, lots of them...Red-Shouldered Hawks and American Crows, and they were angry!
I drove in the direction of the noise, for I know that they will mob young Owlets.
As I got out of my car, I could see several birds circling the top of a very large tree and there she was...the female great Horned Owl.  
I took as many photographs of her as I could, standing nearly under her, and never being noticed, for she was far too busy protecting her nest, her young, but where was the nest, where were the young...which tree...
I had to leave, but a couple of days later, I drove the nearly 35 miles back to Cave Hill, for I was on a mission, I was going to find those 2 Owlets.  
As I stood in the area where the adult female had been and the morning's sunlight was beginning to impart the tree branches and then I saw it, movement and right where the coppery light from the sun shown through the branches, just as if it was meant to be, I spotted 2 gorgeous Great Horned Owlets.  
One was much larger, the female, and then the male on the right.  
Yeah, I had found them, even without the help of the BBC...not to be confused with the BBC ;')
Then right before my eyes, one of them took it's first flight and once again the Hawks were on high pitched alert.  
I followed their yells by car, some few acres away to a tree that was so big, one could have built an entire home from the wood.  
Once, I saw that the young Owlet was safe against the trunk and a large branch, and knowing that the parents were near by, I drove back to check on the single Owlet, still resting near the nest, and what a great nest it had been for them too.

About two weeks later, I had a call in to the gentleman with Wingspan of Kentucky about Peregrine Falcons and he shared with me about a young eyas falling from a nest of a Red-Shouldered Hawk and that she had 2 still in the nest.
I decided to drive over for a look-see.  
The R-S Hawks that I follow always place their nests up very high, so one can only imagine my surprise and alarm, when I saw how close I actually was to this hen, when I came around her nest tree.  
I do not know who was more surprised, but she was not happy to see me and I got my few images and then ducked away back into the protection of my car.  

So these were my surprises and I hope that you enjoy them.

I will try and take better care of myself and hope that you all are doing well also~
I am linking up with Stewart at:

Wild Bird Wednesday


The sunlight's coppery glow and a slight movement of preening, gave me the images that I had so hoped to see, 2 gorgeous Great Horned Owlets!

It was time, it was meant to be, me being present for one of the Owlets to make it first flight...beautiful!

 The Red-Shouldered Hawks were in hot pursuit, but I knew the Great Horned Owls were near by, watching~

The one Owlet remained in nest tree, looking in the direction of where the other had flown, into this huge, amazing looking tree, a few acres away~

And one beauty that sunlight, not just perfect...

Oh My, so that is what you look like when you are very angry...
OK, well enough photographs, I get the picture!

In case you have not seen are 3 of the 7 Deer Ticks that had embedded themselves on my person. 
They are extremely tiny and yet, oh so bad.
One can hardly fit on the head of a straight pin~


  1. Beautiful shots of the Owls and Hawks! What a sight to behold! A local fellow here got bitten by a tick several years ago, and he got the R.M.Spotted Fever...he nearly died, so guess it's nothing to mess around with.

  2. Oh Mary so sorry about the bites. Do take care of yourself. This was a very entertaining post. The photos are marvelous, of course. I don't think I have ever seen a real owl much less an owlet. Hope your treatment gets you well soon.

  3. what great sightings! neat to see the owlets!

    i sure hope you will be okay! glad you are taking preventive measures!

  4. What awesome shots! I bet it was a thrill to see the owl takes its first flight! I despise ticks! I certainly hope none of yours turn out to be carriers.

  5. Hi Mary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and hoping there are no complications from those nasty ticks.

    Awesome images of the RSH and Owlets. I can sense your delight at seeing their first flight attempts.

  6. Oh my gosh Mary, what a story. Take care of those bites and take your medicine etc etc...(I'm a mom, I can't help telling you what you already know!)

    The birding was wonderful..oh I can almost hear the hawk scolding especially in that one picture. And the owlets are adorable..and it is wonderful that you saw the first flight! Wow. Thanks for sharing your awesome pictures.

  7. Great photos of those beautiful birds up high in the trees. So sorry to hear about your tick bites. I too have to smother myself with insect repellent but have to make sure that there are none of the strong chemicals in it. We don't have the same ticks out here but the ones we do have make me very sick.

  8. Wonderful series of owls and hawks! I had lyme disease from a tick bite. With aggressive antibiotic treatment over many months, it was cured. Good luck!

  9. Horrid things! (the ticks, not the birds!) Keep taking the medicine!

    Hope all is well.

    Cheers - and thanks for linking to WBW - Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. Well, I had a Wood tick once....found it when scrubbing my arm in the shower....I took a lighted match to the dark spot, and it backed out from my skin. As long as you get the full tick out of your body [HEAD most importantly]'ll be okay with the meds.

    If you develop a rash...go to the ER.

    Hope all is well. Love the sightings...that owl is so well camouflaged.

  11. Wonderful shots of Owl and Hawk. I like that angry gesture. I am happy you are doing good.

  12. Wow its all happening !! First off hope the medicine keeps everything at bay, secondly what a slide show on offer in this post. Fantastic post, and I know how much time and effort goes into your presentation.... always great to pop by

  13. Wonderful and exciting narrative and the illustrations are excellent. I especially liked the expression on the face of that hawk. Our south Florida Red-shouldereds are lighter overall in color, but we do see some dark ones during migration.

  14. You tell a lovely story Mary. I felt I was right there with you finding those owlets and taking fright at the anger of the hawk. Wonderful pictures of the huge chicks and "Angry Bird" too. Some people are definitely more prone to insect bites than others so take care of those tick bites and try not to get more in your travels.

  15. Hi Mary!
    Thanks for your comment!
    The Google Translator is a bit weird sometimes (quite often!) and
    baby Gulls are just babies, not kittens! :)

    Wow, how nice pictures you got of everything, both owls and hawks!
    And by the way, I do also really hate those Deer Ticks! I didn't know what they were called in english, in Sweden we call them Fästing!
    Greetings Pia

  16. Cool shots and sighting of the owlets and the hawk nest. Have a great weekend, Mary!

  17. you certainly put a lot into this project Mary; thanks for sharing .. I also enjoyed the owlets and not so much the ticks, a hazard too when bushwalking here - though not 'deer' ones.


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