Great horned owls courting and mating up in the live oak tree

A pair of great horned owls was contemplating one of our nesting sites in mid-January 2020.  We were very excited to see them.  The video shows their courting rituals and mating.  After each mating, the male immediately flew away (alone time?  a quiet cigarette?) but he would usually return within an hour, sometimes with a food gift for the female (a small bird or a rat – the way to a woman’s heart, apparently).

They visited the nest for several hours on 5 consecutive nights, were absent for 4 nights, and then returned for another 4 nights before disappearing for good.  It seems our nest wasn’t quite what they were looking for when it came to bringing up a family – although it was certainly a popular spot for canoodling.