I’ve been birding Ritchey Woods, in Fishers, Indiana, every Sunday morning for the last few weeks. It’s a mixed bag. The birding is great, but it’s adjacent to a noisy highway and airport and is frequented by trail runners and dog walkers.
(Trail runners and dog walkers are fine people. They just tend to throw birds into hiding and startle people intently staring into the treetops.)
I’ve heard a great deal of chatter about a great horned owl nest in the woods. Having no luck in finding myself I made a des fete inquiry and was rewarded to directions to the nesting tree.
It turns out (of course) that I’ve walked within 20′ of this tree every Sunday morning for weeks. Kudos to owl behavior and camouflage. This morning my wife and I found the tree, but no owls. Another birder informed us that they had left the nest in the last day, or so. One fledgling (I believe that there are two) was found in a nearby tree, where I had seen a large bird drop earlier (presumably a parent).
We had a nice long look. Hopefully they’ll return to this nest next spring and we’ll know just where to look.