Spot the owls!

April 28, 2018 • 11:15 am

In the Home Depot here in Las Cruces, the shed that abuts the garden section—thus having free access to outside—has harbored for years a pair of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), the most widely distributed owl in North America and the second heaviest (after the Snowy Owl). Owls have been resident here for about 25 years (not necessarily the same pair), and have had multiple clutches.

These species are nocturnal, so there’s a good chance of seeing them if you visit Home Depot (a large do-it-yourself store) during the day. My host Avis had previously written about the owls and sent a picture (see here), but I wanted to see them for myself.

What I’ll do is show two pictures of the roosting birds and ask you to spot the owls, and then in the reveal (click “read more” below), show zoomed pictures of what I saw. The male was more visible than the female.

Okay, spot the male owl. This ain’t hard! But you wouldn’t see it if you didn’t know it was there!

And then the female owl:

Then click below:

Here’s the male, a magnificent creature:

As for the female, well, you can see her tail:

And where they nest. “DNI” means “do not inventory”, i.e., don’t disturb this nesting area:

19 thoughts on “Spot the owls!

        1. And those barred owls? You get one perched by the house and it’s going to be “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”, all night long.

          Nosy and persistent.

      1. Gotcha…from the nest photo it made me think they were on a top shelf or something, not up in the rafters.

  1. TWO MORE PICS BY AVIS from WEIT, 2012 [the last two pics in the WEIT post]. Very good of Home Depot to leave that stock untouched all these years – although it appears to be different stock today compared with 2012 pic.

    Very interesting that [according to the Great Horned Owl link] this species has almost white plumage to the north of its range [Canada] & the colours get darker incrementally in line with latitude. I wonder if that’s various established sub-species in action or something else going on?

    1. I think the owls decide where to nest, and then Home Depot closes off that part of the stock. It changes year to year.

      1. That branch of Home Depot should celebrate their guests – stick a pair of 20′ owl ‘horns’ on the outside of the shed & put owl eyes* in their name. Sorta like this:

  2. I think that it’s great the employees are leaving the owls alone, as evidenced by the “do not inventory-nest” message on the pallets.Very classy on the humans’ part to try not to disturb the nest. Way to go! God bless you all.

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