Rat for dinner: Who gets it? The owl or the raccoon?

January 27, 2021

Our male great horned owl has been extraordinarily diligent when it comes to bringing food gifts to his mate. Mrs Owl doesn’t always show up to accept whatever it is though (ungrateful thing); sometimes, after hooting for hours, Mr Owl gives up and eats it himself.

On this evening, Mr Owl arrived on the nest with huge rat and Mrs was impressed. It was so big we’re still not entirely sure it was a rat (anyone missing a Dachshund with a very skinny tail?). Mrs Owl took it, but after a couple of nibbles she decided to take the rest down to her perch in the live oak over the creek. A few more nibbles apparently proved to be quite enough (normally she swallows rats whole but, as I said, this was a truly enormous rat). She stashed the remains of her dinner on a branch for later and flew off into the night.

She didn’t bargain on being observed by an extremely bold raccoon. Watch the video and see what happened. It’s quite a show!