Friday Feathered Fact
Since it is the height of baby season, we will look at these youngsters. While most hawks and owls take 28-37 days for the eggs to incubate, the time to reach independence varies greatly. The tiny Elf Owl can be out hunting on its own within 5-6 weeks of hatching and the Barn Owl fledglings will leave the parents not long after they are able to fly, which is 9-11 weeks of age. For the larger birds like the Great Horned Owl, the young will be able to fly well at about 3 months of age but are reliant on the parents for food until the age of 6-8 months. During this time, the parents will follow their “teenagers” wherever they go to deliver dinner. In contrast (and noted in an earlier post) some young Harris’s Hawks will forego life on their own until the age of two as they remain “at home” to help raise their newly hatched siblings.