We have two owl cams established at the Valmont Station, Boulder, Colo., and at Fort St. Vrain Station, Platteville, Colo. Both stations use infrared cameras that operate under low-light conditions because of the nocturnal habits of owls.
The first owl cam at Valmont was originally intended for peregrine falcons, but they were not attracted to the box. We were pleased when the owls started using the nest box instead! The owl cam at Valmont Station is installed 260 feet above ground because the owls prefer nesting in a more secluded area, and mother owls can become quite aggressive when raising their young.
At the Fort St. Vrain station the nest box is positioned on the side of the vacant reactor building at the decommissioned nuclear plant.
Note: The Valmont Bird Cam is unavailable this season, as we are unable to make repairs until the birds are no longer nesting.View the St. Vrain Owl Cam
credit: Keith Shannon/USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
With their keen vision and hearing this owlet is distracted by something, most likely waiting for one of the parents to return with some food.
For years great horned owls have lived at Valmont Station along with other birds and wildlife. Originally we constructed the next box for peregrine falcons, but peregrines have natural nesting sites nearby and weren’t attracted to the box. We were pleased when the great horned owls showed up. Previously they nested in areas closer to plant operations. Mother owls can be quite aggressive when protecting their young - on several occasions owls attacked our employees working too close to a nest. With their preferred nesting area now 260 feet in the air, the birds have a secluded spot for raising their young and our employees are safer.
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