A Denver Owl
We’d like to keep her precise location discreet.
Our Owl Cam has finished
Contact us if you would like to get periodic updates on the three owlies, who still reside in the Denver area.
About this Project
About a month ago I walked onto a friend’s balcony and was more than a little startled by the sudden departure of a rather large bird. I had seen a depression in their planting box, but assumed it was human activity. About 3 days later eggs started showing up…
We are in the metro-Denver area. To protect her new family, we’d rather not say where. We now stay completely off her balcony and were careful to introduce the camera equipment slowly. She lingered to give me a long stare through the window one night before leaving, but now trusts me to watch her eggs when she goes off to hunt.
I am on sabbatical from teaching overseas, and looking for tech projects that help bring a little balance to an unbalanced world. My main focus has been green Internet solutions, but if this live feed can bring a little covid relief, I’m happy for that!
Can I use this for my class?
Absolutely. Until I get to certain subscribe thresholds, you won’t be able to embed this video, but you’re welcome to use it for any non-commercial purpose. You can link to this page or use this link to go directly to the live feed: https://redtinfilm.com/denver-owl/live
Hoo Hoo Hoo?
What equipment are you using?
Did I miss something? Got a suggestion?
Just shoot me a message at: chat [email protected] redtinfilm.com .
Stills from Our Awesome Viewers
Thank you Maria and Brenda!
Kiddies Under Foot
Hubby Brings Dinner
Thank you, Maria!
Lady Bird Flight
Support this Effort
And huge thanks to those who have! I’m humbled. 🙂
I would have done this regardless, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a little love too. I’m about $2k underwater on this project and wouldn’t refuse small donations. Also feel free to contact me if you’d like to host this equipment after our owlets have flown the coop.
Hi – I was wondering if your owl is back to nest on your balcony.
Hi Mike, can you please fill us in on what happened to the owls? Thanks!
Happy Friday! 🙂
We submitted the request form for access to the new camera, but wanted to follow up with an email request just to be sure!
Watching Lady Bird and her family over all these weeks has truly been an amazing experience. Thank you!!!!
Can’t wait to see the new camera view!
Cheers! Diane and John
Today Fri. June 19,2020 you said to e-mail you for an update on the 2 owls in the tree. So I would also like an update. and I’m posting my e-mail address to you to receive update. I also would like to contribute to the worthy caus of this project , which I am enjoying very much. I’d like an postal address to send a check . Is that OK? Let me know or all of us on a chat.-Judy
Mike, count me in for the private feed and also to contribute to a gift for the owners. My email is [email protected]. My full name is Gretchen Lang. Just email me on how to proceed.
Hi Mike. I am providing my email so please keep me in the loop moving forward. I did not realize the donation was set up. I would love to contribute.
Hi Mike, I donated this morning. Please keep half for your efforts/equipment and give half to the “landlords” for their patience with all this excitement. What a privilege this has been to watch LB and her family, Thank you!
The May 23/24 video only shows from about 5-9 AM, unless I’m missing something. This seemed to be the case earlier this week too, where much of at least one other night wasn’t there once the video was no longer live. I thought you’d want to know. I enjoy catching up on the highlights 🙂
Hi Bev! I checked and the entire video is intact – I dowloaded it to be safe. If it doesn’t show up, I’ll upload a copy. Do we have invasive Doves too? Ugh. We’ll have to craft a hunting guide so these owls can help out with invasives. 🙂
I see the whole thing now, not sure what was up when I looked before. I’m glad it’s all intact!
Thanks so much for all of your efforts on this! I have watched diligently every day (through out the day) since the beginning!
Please keep me updated on what the plans are for when they take flight, I am local.
I believe the bird at 4:47 AM was a mourning dove – small, smooth-looking head and short bill and from what I could see of the pattern on the lower back and tail during the gorging session 🙂 If any more doves are brought in, I hope they are the non-native Eurasian collared-doves…
Hi Mike, I wanted to mention a few more things here and you can share in chat as you see fit. If there are issues with young getting (or falling) out of the nest too early or anything else, Birds of Prey Foundation is a great local raptor rehab nonprofit and may be closer than CARRI. Here’s their web page with phone number and questions they will ask https://www.birds-of-prey.org/injured-bird
Owls can’t turn their heads quite all the way around, they can turn them 270 degrees so it can look like all the way. – It’s an out-and-back movement in either direction, not a swivel round and round like we’ve all probably seen on TV:). Here is a good Colorado Parks and Wildlife web page for general info about Colorado wildlife species – https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/SpeciesProfiles.aspx Note the tabs for birds, mammals etc then you can click on the species or group to expand. The great horned owl account includes some fun facts about appearance, behavior, etc. The mammals (and reptile!) tab include species the owls prey on, like cottontail rabbits and a number of rodent species and groups – white-footed mice, voles/meadow mice (some of the smaller short-tailed prey is likely these), harvest mice, pocket mice, woodrats and more. I think the info on this site would be helpful for some of the chat questions.
Thanks again for your diligence in taking care of the owls’ needs!
You are just the best. This is all fantastic info. The owners are also in contact with local wildlife gov’t agencies, so my hope is that the sidewalk and/or street will get closed off and a rescue isn’t called for. I am trying to set time aside from work for when they start their first flights. I’m hoping to be on site if it’s even realistic.
Regarding the 270 degrees… I held back from informing the young viewer as she seemed a bit fragile and I thought it best not to seem to be correcting her. It LOOKS like a full 360 so I thought I’d just go with the excitement.
So glad you’re here and bringing this wealth of knowledge and resources to the table.
Yes it is better to be able to give the owls the space they need and hopefully not need any rescuing! Best of luck getting to see them fledge, that would be special.
Here’s another good web site with great horned owl info, including a begging call on the sounds page – bet it gets noisy with 3 chicks!
Mike, do you get paid when we subscribe? I’d like to do something to support you, but I prefer not to fund YouTube.
Hi Gretchen! Great question. I do not get paid when people subscribe, and I generate no income from YouTube. If I can get to 1,000 subscribers, YouTube will let me embed the live video feeds, which would allow people to embed Lady Bird in their own Web pages. It would also allow me to make a cool “always on top” LB page people could put in the corner of their screen, create special pages for classrooms and stuff like that. 1,000 subscribers is also the threshold for YouTube advertising, so it would allow me to run ads on other videos – I’ve committed to keeping the Lady Bird live feed free from advertising. But in retirement I’d like to have owl cams and bird and bat cams and be able to support the habitat, bird food, cameras and other expenses.
There is a donation button somewhere on this page, but it’s not something I push particularly. If you’d like to make a small contribution to offset my costs, that’s great. If not, that’s also great; I’m happy this community exists, and glad we’ve gotten to know LB. 🙂
Mike, I discovered that to subscribe I first have to set up a YouTube account, and I just couldn’t bring myself to create another social media account. I did make a donation here, but I’d like to do whatever else I can to support you. Thanks to you, LB and family have been significantly contributing to preserving my mental health. Every morning and every night I spend as much time on the feed as possible, and when I’m watching the owls, I feel calm and happy. I’m drawn into their small corner of beauty, and a terribly troubled world feels better for a while. I can’t tell you what this has meant to me… I am so grateful to you, and to them. What can I do to support you if I don’t have a lot to donate? Is there some other way to help out? It would make me really happy to do more. Thank you again for this gift.
Goofy idea: how about Dewy for the middle chick? It’s a pun on “due” – Italian for two – and also a joke about being an innocent at the beginning of life.
Sorry I didn’t respond before. “Dewey” is also the name of a robot in the film “Silent Running” which really shook me up as a kid. All plant life on Earth is reduced to several pods in space, and then the program is defunded. I advocated for Dewy playfully on the group chat… shall we revive the question? A poll perhaps?
By the way, please let the folks who are suggesting cutting the overhanging rose canes know that they afford some protection, and definitely shouldn’t be pruned back for our viewing ease (as much as I want to watch 24/7)!
I agree. It’s not much, but it’s the habitat they chose to nest in. Not to mention that it’s not my rose!
Hi Mike! I’ve been watching daily, but not commenting in the chat because I don’t want to open a youtube account. Thank you for doing this – it is a joy in hard times.
Do you archive the daily films? Last night I missed the rabbit feast, and it sounds like it was epic!
Hi Gretchen! Thanks for posting! The May 6 rabbit feast starts at 11:41pm. It’s quite something. I have fixed the encoding issue so you can now scrub back through old live feeds. 🙂
Thank you, Mike!
I’d like to give a big thank you to the home owner for allowing the camera on his balcony. I hope they know it’s much appreciated by everyone here. And of course thanks to Mike for setting it up and maintaining it.
Mike, we have a few photos of Lady Bird holding her snake upon return to the nest. We’d be happy to share them if you would like!
I’ll post them! chat – @ – redtin…. 🙂
Hi, I would comment in the chat window but it looks like I would have to have a youtube channel to do that? If there’s a way to do it without an account, I’m all ears!
The snake that mom brought in was a bull snake. I actually only saw the tail of what probably had been a fairly sizeable snake – it looked to me like she didn’t bring the whole thing. Also if you watch closely once she started eating it, I saw her drop the last few inches on the edge of the planter and it slipped off! Then she pecked under the edge of the planter, seemingly looking for it. I was glad to see the male bring the mouse after that, since she and the chicks need those calories!
Thank you for the camera and for caring so much about the welfare of these owls.
When you back up the cam to earlier today, what is the feathery bird (?) and bright yellow coloring near the front of the bin. I thought it may be a baby, but it didn’t move. Is it a dead bird she caught & she’s saving for dinner?
BTW….my husband and I have greatly enjoyed watching Lady Bird….thank you so much!
Last night she brought in what looked like a western meadowlark – the bright yellow on the remains is consistent with that species.
Or was the meadowlark night before last? It’s running together… I can’t blame stay-at-home brain, more like slightly foggy brain from up late watching nest cams while streaming free SiriusXM 🙂
I think it was night before last. But I agree… snakes and meadowlarks and hubby owl and camera jolts all happened fast and furious. 🙂
Please let me know about the live feed idea. Without Lady Bird and the owlets the past weeks would have been unbear a bly bleak. Thank you so much!
From YouTube chat…
Questions I would have for an ornithologist:
1) Why do you think she chose this spot for her nest? Do you think that the current quarantine conditions had anything to do with her feeling comfortable in such a human-inhabited place?
2) What do you think happened to Dad?
3) I’ve observed her prodding the owlets with her talons when she returns to the nest after a hunt. What’s this for?
4) I’ve read that juvenile Great Horned owls have only a 50% chance of survival into adulthood. Do think the odds will be better or worse for these three? (I hope it’s better!)
Just found this site: when did chick pip/hatch?
First one the night of April 29, I believe. Second one shortly thereafter. Which is atypical for these owls. The eggs were laid several days apart and apparently they typically hatch that way too. It may have been that she heated them up at the same time, so they hatched closer than they were laid. Not an ornithologist, so this is just from googling. Thanks for visiting!
3rd one just now as I was watching!! Amazing…
Great explanations and comments. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Hi all. First of all, thanks so much for doing this! It’s been fun to watch her. We have an old ipad set up with her on it 24/7. In our house, we did start calling her Lady Bird just because, well, she’s a lady bird. That prompted our daughter to start calling her Saoirse, in honor of the lead role from the movie (one of the favorites in our house). As it turns out, Saoirse’s middle name is Una, so that was the inspiration for the first chick name.
Kismet! Gotta love a cosmic coincidence. Lady Bird and Una are great company in the background at my home both soothing and exciting.
I feel like it’s time to give her a name. Maybe some of the teachers and students would like to make a few suggestions?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS AWESOME PROJECT! You rock!
Hi Marika! A young watcher suggested “Lady Bird” for the mom, and “Una” for the first-born. Gotta say I love it!
Oh my goodness, Lady Bird is perfect!
Hi, I’m wondering whether the nest location will be getting any shade from trees or shrubs leafing out, or if there is a way to give it some shade without disrupting the owls. Mom looks hot, I’ve noticed her panting and fluttering her throat (gular fluttering) which they do to cool down. She’s doing it now. Not that birds don’t put up with weather extremes all the time, but most great horned owl nests have some shade. Wonder if it’s her first nesting season, since she seems to have chosen an odd spot!
Hi Bev! A lot of folks have expressed the same concern. I reached out to an ornithologist at CARRI (Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute) and his experience has been that lots of owls take over full-sun nests… tree-top Hawk’s nests, for example. He said both the moms and chicks are tough and that we should expect to see some “tough love” in the weeks ahead! I have invited him to field our questions and we’re sorting out the details. Another ornithologist watching did make the point that young couples do make mistakes and get better at this season after season. So I suppose we also have to steal ourselves for potential mishaps, and perhaps explain to younger viewers that this isn’t a Disney movie. One further point… apparently the male selects the nest site and then entices the female to accept it. So there will be blame to share if things go south… Thanks for posting and don’t stop! The comments in live chat are wonderful but make it harder to share knowledge more broadly.
Ah yes, I don’t watch all the time but when I do I was wondering if Mr. Owl stopped by to feed the lady?
I think it’s a Great Horned Owl.
What a precious thing to share!
Thank you so much.
You are correct, Eleanor! 🙂 Someone thought they had identified the subspecies, but I can’t find it on this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_horned_owl#Subspecies. Regarding Mr. Owl… there is definitely some conversation that’s occurring at night between whomever’s on the nest and another owl. One night, each time I opened a door (in another part of the house), an owl would hoot! And the one on camera would occasionally murmur back. So I do think it’s a couple, but they’ve never been on camera together. Thank YOU for sharing… it’s been a fun project!