Saturday, April 6, 2013

Great Horned Owl at Pancho Villa State Park, NM

Katie and I arrived at Pancho Villa State Park in southern New Mexico early Thursday afternoon.  Most of the sites here have electricity and water, and only six have water only. That's what I wanted, but I didn't like either of the two sites that were empty and available.  So I drove around a little, and found out that they have a lot of overflow parking here that can be used as boondocking sites.  I talked to a fellow camper who told me this, and so I just picked out a place I liked and settled there.  Yesterday I confirmed with one of the Rangers that I was parked in an overflow site and was okay to stay there.  I always thought overflow sites were only used when a park was full, but am happy to say that's not the case, at least here.

Thursday after we got here I took Katie out for a walk and looked up and there was a Great Horned Owl roosting in the tree overhead.  I couldn't believe it; I've never seen an owl in the wild before.  I took a bunch of photos and these were the best:

Great Horned Owl

 I walked around the tree and used my zoom lens to get the best close-up I could.

I thought this final one was funny - I think it was giving me the "stink eye."  Like - "Let me sleep!"

 Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday evening we walked around the park again and discovered the owl's nest. As I was looking at it and trying to get a good shot, a few other campers came over with their cameras to see what I had found.  Below is the best shot I could get, but I wasn't sure what it was.  One of the men said it was the tail feathers of the owl.  I wasn't sure about that because the coloring was wrong and I don't think owls have long tail feathers like this - but this is the photo, what do you think?

Yesterday we were walking around again in that part of the park and went to check out the owl's nest, and we were lucky to find an owl sitting on the nest.  I think I even got a shot of an owlet. You may have to click on these photos to see what I'm talking about.

So, first of all - look at this picture.  It looks to me like there is a bird laying in front of the owl, and I think it is this bird's tail feathers that are showing in the photo above.  I think this is food for the owl family.  

The next picture - see the broken egg shell?  Right above it appears to be a perfect owl face, a little owlet.

Owlet sitting over a broken egg shell.

See under the arrow, I've circled it.

Look at that little face. :)

Such a stern look - okay, okay, we're leaving.

I've found a few other nests, one is particularly interesting - I'll post it next time.  There are lots of birds here and I'm told the Roadrunners are very friendly, so maybe I'll get a great shot of one.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

The weather has been warm and breezy, but a huge wind storm is expected, so I'm hunkering down. It will be coming from the west, and then the north/northwest, and I think I'm in a perfect spot.  The Palms is facing west so we won't be broadsided by the wind, and I have a hill close by to the north which should eliminate some of the wind.

This campground is quite close to the Mexican border, and throughout the day I see Border Patrol vehicles driving through the park.  Right next to Pancho Villa State Park is the small town of Columbus, and I plan to take Katie there on a walk.  Maybe later today depending on the wind, which is pretty strong right now.  The library has free wireless and I need better wireless than I can get through my phone to download some programs that have been lining up.

I'm having a heck of a time getting Blogger to Save, Preview or Publish - is anyone else having this issue?   I keep getting an error message - over and over and over.  :(

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Cheryl Ann!   I can see your photo and name under the "Members" section of  Me and My Dog, but can't pull up anything about you.  I don't know if it's my Internet connection (which appears to be good) or if it's a Blogger issue.  I'll check back later and see if you have a blog or other information I can add.  Thanks for following along with me and Katie, Cheryl Ann!  We are happy to have you on board!  :)

Happy Saturday, everyone, from Me and Katie!  :)


  1. You have good eyes to have spotted the baby owl. Great pictures!

  2. Great discovery of the owl and owlet. Don't you just love coming across things like that. I get those blogger error messages when I have a weak internet connection, it goes away when the signal gets stronger.

  3. Oh my, oh my....I just can't believe it! What an awesome find. Owls are my favorite! I would have been so excited, I probably would not have had the composure to take any pictures. Cant wait for updates!

  4. Very cool!! I've never seen an owl in the wild either so can imagine your thrill... and a baby too! Good deal.

  5. Great pictures. Be sure and check out the Deming Museum while your in the area.

  6. What perfect owl pictures. I unfortunately have seen many owls in the wild. When we lived in the boondocks, they would get our chickens all the time. (when I was a child) We would see them in the trees and "whoo" at them and they would answer back. I have no idea what that one pictures is, puzzling. Sure looks like feathers you are right. Looking forward to more updates.

  7. I have been trying to update my reading list and it just keeps coming back as an error....
    LOVE the owl, yes, I think u were getting the 'stink eye'

  8. I still have never seen an owl in the wild. They are so 'stern' looking :)

  9. I saw a Great Horned owl fly over once. But not sitting in a tree. So great! How lucky can you get.

  10. Nice photography of the feather legs. I agree with Shoeless that the Deming museum is well worth seeing.

  11. The owl photos are really great!

    Those tail feathers could be a cooper's hawk or a red shouldered hawk, or a nighthawk. I'll study it more.

  12. Oh, what great fun to see that owl nest! I've been to Pancho Villa State Park but can't picture where the overflow area is. In town there is a really nice old fire engine to photograph. We were attending an event there, so too many people were milling about to get a good shot, but there are lots of good close up ops of the separate parts.

    Looking at your pictures is always a pleasure! ;->

  13. I've never seen an owl in "real" time, How wonderful for you and to be able to document it in picture!


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