Well, last night along with my friend and owl mentee, Brenda Hente, I saw Sarah take a drink in the waterway. This was only the fourth time I have seen her drink in the almost six years that I have been observing and documenting her and Charles. Unlike the previous times there was still a fair amount of daylight left so I could film it. She flew out of the hollow in The 08/12 Nest Tree, where she is currently nesting, to The Middle Tree and after a few minutes she flew down to the waterway. My initial thought was that she was making a predatory attempt along the banks of the waterway but no, she began to drink. My still photos were poor but I got some solid video of the whole process. Watch and enjoy!
Notice how cautious she was while drinking: short sips of water and in between sips she is looking around constantly on the alert. Charles continued to hoot as they had been duetting prior to her drinking in the waterway.
Great Horned Owls and other birds of prey get most of their liquid needs from the prey they eat but if need be they will drink water. I wondered why she was drinking water now and Brenda made a great point that since Sarah is nesting and getting ready to lay eggs, her need for liquid is probably heightened.
The night continued in superb fashion. The owls resumed their duet and mated. It was the twenty-third time (in twenty-seven nights) I have seen them mate this breeding season. We followed Charles when he went off to hunt and were able to reacquire him a few times thanks to ESL (Experience, Skill, Luck). We were getting ready to leave the park, when Charles returned to The Middle Tree and made a food exchange with Sarah. It looked like a small rodent or bird. They duetted some more before Charles headed out to resume hunting. A great night with the owls. Thanks for reading!