These Owl Chicks Have Two Moms and a Dad—a First
Bird experts are surprised by the first known observation of polygamy in great horned owls.
When Jim Thomas came into his office one morning in late February, he realized he was not alone. “I heard this racket outside my window,” says Thomas, a hydrologist at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada.
There, he witnessed a battle between ravens and a pair of great horned owls, two species that sometimes grapple for territory. The owl couple had decided to make a home in the rock-strewn ledge outside the window, and soon prevailed.
Staff members were delighted to have great horned owls so close. But then things took a strange turn: A third owl showed up, a female. (See five baby bird cams not to miss this spring.)
The two females began laying eggs, five in