Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Wild Sunday (updated with owl/skunk photos Friday) 4-18-08

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Brian Floetl's neat sequence of a great horned owl devouring a skunk in Barrington earlier in April makes history as the first photos posted on STRAY CASTS.

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.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 18, 2008 5:28 PM.

Quaking animals was the previous entry in this blog.

Butt photos, rainbows and Wild Sunday 4-20-08 is the next entry in this blog.

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