Now you can see the pictures Brian Floetl took of a great horned owl devouring a skunk in Barrington last week. Go to the Wild Sunday entry on April 18.
I've had a chance to see some good sights over the years of predators nailing game: red-tailed hawks with everything from mice to squirrels to ospreys neatly plucking fish out of the water.
But a great horned owl with a skunk? Never saw that live, but Floetl sent a series of images he captured. And the images do his story justice.
Great horned owls are the large owls most noted for their large ear tuffs. More on them here.
Here's his story. (For easier reading, I inserted paragraphs.)
``Thought you might want to have a look at this great-horned owl enjoying his skunk dinner. I saw what I thought was a coyote lying against the fence in one of our pastures about 7 last Thursday morning.
``Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a great horned owl but I didn't have my camera. At about 10 a.m. I had my camera but no owl. At 11 a.m. I saw that he was now in a tree by the pasture still holding his dinner making it look like he had a long tail. [Quite an amusing and stunning image, I might add.)
``That's where I took the photos till he flew into a pasture across the way and I then left him alone. At 1:15 p.m. I was back down that way and he was still there still enjoying his skunk. He was gone by 2:15 leaving not much skunk as you can see.
``I am thinking he nailed the skunk that night or early morning and spent the next 7 hours or so eating the whole thing. Here are some pictures of the owl and what remained of Mr. Skunk.''
I love it. Keep the animal stories and pictures coming.