I noticed an article in the local paper last week about this family of great horned owls living high up in a eucalyptus tree at the lake/reservoir just a few miles from where I live. So, I ended up making 2 trips to the lake this past saturday, once in the morning and again in the late afternoon. The morning session didn't produce much... they weren't very active and the light was in the wrong direction, too. I was determined to get a least one decent shot and knew the light would be more favorable near the end of the day, so I went back for another try and spent close to 2 hours just watching and waiting.
After nothing at all for a while, they started to move around and Mama was ripping off bits of what looked like a rabbit and feeding bits of it to the youngsters.. really fascinating to watch, but they don't exactly cooperate by standing up on the edge where you can see them well, and one was completely out of site most of the time.
I'm not really equipped to do this kind of work properly; this is just at the edge of what my gear can do. These guys are 40-50 feet up in the tree and the tree itself is further up on a hillside with restricted access, so to the naked eye, the nest is just a dark spot way up there in the branches. Even with my 400mm lens which is the longest I have, this is about a 50% crop! Add in the wind blowing things around and the birds total unconcern about performing for their fans on the ground, and I now realize why I don't do a lot of wildlife photography. I do love animals and I love to photograph them, but in the wild, the logistics of it all are tough and you need extreme patience.
I was just praying that they would somehow all get together for a few seconds and finally they did, almost like they were saying: "Alright.. here you go. Take your shot and get out of here!" Right after, they hunkered down again and I decided to call it a day. Since I now know where they are and the best time to watch, I'll probably go by a few times a week to see how they grow.