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002 GUARDIAN - GREAT HORNED OWL
Great Horned Owl- Swan Lake Wildlife Management Area, Nebraska. In late February on a secluded section of Swan Creek, a mother great horned owl sits on her nest brooding few-day-old young in the crotch of a flooded cottonwood tree. Great horned owls are the earliest nesters of all birds in the Great Plains. They begin courtship and establish nesting territories as early as December, beginning to nest as early as January. Hatch size is usually two to three young, and they will stay with their mother through fall before striking out on their own.