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In 2018 we were fortunate enough to have a pair of Great Horned Owls nest behind out home. We live in a very small plan of 20 homes and many residents have school age kids. So, almost every night during the summer at least two and up to five homes would have an owl "hunting" from the peak of their roofs. I got luck enough one evening to photograph this youngster just before dusk. BTW.....we had no rabbits around the homes that summer......wonder why??







 

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Steeltrap, I see the same thing in areas I hunt when owls are present, no rabbits, also no grouse, no pheasants, and not much of anything else they kill. An owl is natural killer often killing just to kill. Glad someone can see the impacts of an uncontrolled raptor population. Many just blame it on habitat or disease.
 

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Great pics. Great Horned owls are impressive predators. Over the last 4-5 years I have found 6 or 7 dead ones in my travels. I've read they are very susceptible to west nile virus. I never found a dead owl before.
 

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Steeltrap, I see the same thing in areas I hunt when owls are present, no rabbits, also no grouse, no pheasants, and not much of anything else they kill. An owl is natural killer often killing just to kill. Glad someone can see the impacts of an uncontrolled raptor population. Many just blame it on habitat or disease.
I'm not a biologist.....but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express a few times. The apparent random killings of small game that owl's do may be nature's way of allowing the food sources of those small game animals to replenish.
 

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interesting video treedaddy and neat pictures steeltrap . I guess owls are just as harmful as other predators , but steeltrap has a point on the smaller animals replenishing.
 

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I like to listen to them at night when the windows are open. Every once and a while you'll hear them wack a rabbit in the yard. By fall all the rabbits are gone and nothing for the beagles to chase. My wife watched a Redtail nail a rabbit in the yard on one Sunday morning..
 
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Really?

I seem to be having a bit of a problem finding anything about owls being much of a surplus killer.
When you go out in the woods and find several turkey poults laying dead with their head cut off, and neither the head or carcass eaten, that is killing just to kill. Or a farmer who in the morning finds a lot of dead poultry, again with the heads removed and nothing eaten. This is just what they do, many other animals will kill just to kill, such as a coon in the hen house. Domestic dogs will do the same. To control predation, you control predator numbers, but this is greatly frowned apon by anti hunters, who want predators to control game numbers, so people do not have much game to hunt and quit hunting. A good example of this was with wild pheasants here in PA, very few hunt for wild pheasants anymore in PA because they are basically wiped out. Today most pheasant hunters in PA rely on the stocking truck. Many years back, while muskrat trapping we came across 5 dead pheasants, that an owl killed out of a big willow tree, at a pond. Now the pond is still there, the muskrats and pheasant are gone and the owls are doing well.
 

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If anyone has any extra owls or hawks, send them my way, I have a bunch of chipmunks and squirrels that would make a good meal for them. The birds would appreciate not having to find those vermin at my bird feeder.
 

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My wife and I were sitting on the back deck along towards dusk having a few cold drinks and watching a couple of rabbits run around the back yard near the wood line a few years ago when all at once a big ole owl came and bang one rabbit gone squealing like crazy latter that night we heard the other rabbit squealing. Then all the squirrels were gone even a mallard duck that was beheaded and half the breast pecked out died to the owl and funny thing about this is when ever the owls where around I didn't see any other raptors in the woods around the house.
The good thing about this is there weren't many mice around either.
 

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Even though I hear owls about every night I am outside around my house for any length they must really be extremely lazy owls. There are both rabbits and squirrels all around where I live.

Now that I am not taking the dog hunting every morning I am back to taking him up on the hill above my house for a run every morning. With the snow on the ground it is easy to see that there are rabbits hopping around all over the place at night. Based on all the squirrel tracks I am seeing the hawks around here must be extremely lazy too.

Funny thing is mixed in with all of those rabbit and squirrel tracks are both fox and coyote tracks yet I haven't see any evidence that any of them or a hawk or owl has caught even one rabbit or squirrel. I guess they might have caught a squirrel up in a tree where I wouldn't see the evidence but rabbits don't spend any of their nights in the trees so I suspect the evidence of one of them being killed would be out there on the snow for all to see. I guess we must just have a bunch of lazy and worthless predators around here.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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If anyone has any extra owls or hawks, send them my way, I have a bunch of chipmunks and squirrels that would make a good meal for them. The birds would appreciate not having to find those vermin at my bird feeder.
My guess, the birds are more worried about the hawks that eat birds at bird feeders.
 

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Even though I hear owls about every night I am outside around my house for any length they must really be extremely lazy owls. There are both rabbits and squirrels all around where I live.

Now that I am not taking the dog hunting every morning I am back to taking him up on the hill above my house for a run every morning. With the snow on the ground it is easy to see that there are rabbits hopping around all over the place at night. Based on all the squirrel tracks I am seeing the hawks around here must be extremely lazy too.

Funny thing is mixed in with all of those rabbit and squirrel tracks are both fox and coyote tracks yet I haven't see any evidence that any of them or a hawk or owl has caught even one rabbit or squirrel. I guess they might have caught a squirrel up in a tree where I wouldn't see the evidence but rabbits don't spend any of their nights in the trees so I suspect the evidence of one of them being killed would be out there on the snow for all to see. I guess we must just have a bunch of lazy and worthless predators around here.

Dick Bodenhorn
I do not think they are lazy, common sense leads me to believe they are eating something. You may not be looking hard enough for where they killed something, fact is, if they are living, they are eating something. Learned this stuff in school a long time ago, 7th grade, teacher named Mr. Clough, he also gave us our hunter safety course. Back then they taught us that if you did not control predator numbers, small game numbers would be hurt. Long time ago, but they sure were right on the money. If you think you have a lot of rabbits, and want to hunt them I can bring some dogs up for a hunt. Learned a long time ago 1 rabbit can leave a lot of tracks. My guess is on a good day many would find it hard, to consistently be able to go out and kill a limit of rabbits and squirrels in one day. From your past posts, you seem to be fortunate to have good game numbers in your area.
 

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Our daughter has a small flock of free range chickens and has yet to have one taken by an owl. She also has a Great Horned owl that has for the past four years nested about fifty yards from her coop. I got to thinking that may they are related to the owls that R.S.B. has been hearing.
 
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When I go out on the deck before first light I hear three different species of owls that make their home along the river.
Of course if I really want to give visitors a thrill I can take them up the road to where the owner of the taxidermy studio feeds the owls and raptors including one heck of a lot of eagles. Greg doesn't do youtube, so if you want to see his eagles you'll have to go to his Facebook page where he posts his videos. When you get there just scroll down
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010053466339
Greg Ielfield is an award winning taxidermist who can do an excellent job on any critter that someone brings to his studio, but what he really makes his living from isnt deer, it's waterfowl, upland birds, and other small game that's the stuff that gets recognition when he goes to shows and it's his bread and butter on the local scene. It's highly unlikely he would be feeding eagles, owls, and other raptors, if he thought it was hurting his bottom line.
Anyway, enjoy the video.
 
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