Ron LeValley was invited to accompany a biologist who was checking on a Northern Spotted Owl nest near the Navarro River in Mendocino County. Look what they found - a female Spotted Owl.
Ron wrote, "Biologists feed the owls mice and see what they do with them. If they eat them right away, it is a good indication that there are no chicks. If there are chicks, the parent owls take the first mice to their chicks. (Below) is the chick that this female owl took the first three mice to. The adult female ate the fourth mouse indicating that this chick was likely the only one the adults were raising."
These Owls are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They nest in old-growth trees and need large areas in which to hunt. Besides the loss of habitat due to logging, the appearance of Barred Owls is considered to be another threat to these beautiful Owls.
A big thank you to Ron LeValley for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Ron's photography, here's a link to his website: http://www.levalleyphoto.com/home/