A cedar waxwing "drops in" on a great horned owl

January 2, 2021

It was about 3 hours after sunset and the female great horned owl was sitting on the nest waiting for her mate to bring her something delectable for dinner. Suddenly, a little cedar waxwing dropped out of the sky and landed on a branch about 2 feet below the nest – right in front of the owl. The owl was startled at first, but watched the cedar waxwing with growing interest. The cedar waxwing, however, seemed to be utterly unaware that it had almost landed on an owl – an owl who was probably hungry, and probably thinking “You look awfully tasty!”.

They both sat there for a few seconds and you can see in the video that the owl is trying to figure out a way to silently pounce on the waxwing. Then, just as suddenly as it arrived, the waxwing took off again like a rocket, into the night.  Did it feel the owl’s breath on the back of its neck?  The owl tried to quickly follow, but the waxwing was gone before the owl was even out of the starting blocks.

The cedar waxwing definitely earned some daredevil points that night.