Yesterday, Catherine and I went to see the Great Horned Owls, and found this scene. The nest was empty, and the adults were gone. We searched all around, but found no trace of them. We did, however, find the previously-missing chick, dead right below the nest. I am not sure what could have killed it, although a bad fall could have done it. With the primaries that far developed it should have been able to break the fall somewhat, but there is no telling whether it hit something on the way down, or perhaps was grabbed by an eagle or hawk.
We are hoping what happened with the other chick is that it fledged, although who really knows…We will keep an eye out for the family, as they will probably stay within this patch of woods. I will remember this unique experience of seeing these bold Great Horned Owls, nesting so close to a walking path in an urban forest.
What a pity, after your series of pictures and comments, they almost feel like family now. I hope they are doing well in another place.
I once followed a nest with two owlets of Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) until one day, the whole family disappeared. Never found what happened to them, even thought there are several adults in the area.
I think it is definitely possible the other chick fledged…It just seems really sudden!
Your commitment to following and telling a story make your photographs and your blog outstanding.