A great horned owl evicting a raccoon from the owl nest

A great horned owl evicting a raccoon from the owl nest

December 13, 2020

A couple of the raccoons are in the habit of climbing up to the nest to play and snooze and look at the view, and now that the great horned owls are visiting again it seemed only a matter of time until they overlapped.  Turns out great horned owls don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to tolerating interlopers in their space.

A little raccoon was up in the nest a few nights ago, just minding her own business, and one of the owls saw her, and was not amused. The owl flew in at warp speed and nailed the poor raccoon in the butt with his talons. The raccoon got an awful shock – I think quite literally didn’t know what had hit her. Owls fly silently and this owl was travelling so fast he was just a blur. The raccoon cowered there in the nest for about 15 more seconds and then decided to get the hell out. As she turned her back to begin the climb down the tree the owl hit her again – this time so hard it shook the nest.

We were worried that the raccoon might fall but she didn’t. She was fine – shaken, and probably quite sore – but otherwise unharmed. The owl nest is 30 ft up in a big live oak tree and falling would be disastrous, but even in her panic the little raccoon was able to get down again safely. And she was back the following night, so perhaps raccoons are not as smart as I like to think they are.