A couple of the raccoons are in the habit of climbing up to the nest to play and snooze and look at the view, and now that the great horned owls are visiting again it seemed only a matter of time until they overlapped. Turns out great horned owls don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to tolerating interlopers in their space.
A little raccoon was up in the nest a few nights ago, just minding her own business, and one of the owls saw her, and was not amused. The owl flew in at warp speed and nailed the poor raccoon in the butt with his talons. The raccoon got an awful shock – I think quite literally didn’t know what had hit her. Owls fly silently and this owl was traveling so fast he was just a blur.
This Texas Backyard Wildlife video of a great horned owl evicting a raccoon from the owl nest captures not one but two speedy owl attacks on a startled raccoon. She high-tailed it out of the owl nest after the second hit.
TBW reports that the raccoon was unharmed and returned the following night. Thirty feet (around 9 meters) high in a live oak tree, the nest has been a popular spot throughout the winter for both owls and raccoons. This video shares more evening activity:
And in this January 2021 video, the owls and raccoons compete for resources, specifically a freshly caught rat meal: Who gets it? The owl or the raccoon?
We share our Austin home with dozens of other animals – foxes, raccoons, deer, rock squirrels, snakes, owls, skunks, hummingbirds… Some live here with us, under the deck or high up in a tree, some are just passing through. Every day we see something new, a new butterfly, a new bird, a new behavior.
We have recorded hundreds of hours of video and taken hundreds of photos of the creatures who live here in our yard with us here in Austin – eating, playing, taking care of babies, hunting, and just hanging out. Texas Backyard Wildlife is our way of sharing this with our neighbors here in Austin and around the world.
Watch more owls, raccoons and animal cams on TKSST:
• Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Great Horned Owl Live Cam
• The silent flight superpower of a stealthy predator: The Owl
• A raccoon demonstrates her problem solving skills
• A mother raccoon teaches her kit how to climb a tree
• The Orphan Owl