There is a grove of mature cottonwood trees on the grounds of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, near the garden’s boundary with the Crosscut Canal. I usually can find the great horned owl in the top photo snoozing here during my walks, though he blends in remarkably well with the tangle of branches, and is sometimes difficult to spot. I was delighted yesterday to discover that the regular bird has been joined by a friend.
The differences in color tone in these two birds are not indicative of their sex, so I’m not sure who’s who. Female G.H.O.s are marginally larger than males, though I can’t detect any difference. And yes, the pun was intentional.
Great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) in Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), at the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona.
I went in search of fall color last week to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park near Superior, Arizona. It’s early December and the cotttonwoods in the Queen Creek canyon are just beginning to go gold.