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Great Horned Owls in Charlo- the breeding season begins!

Exciting news- we finally found the nest location of our resident Great Horned Owl pair!

Photos taken March 10, 2023 by ORI field tech Chloe Hernandez. Photo 1: one of the pair perches among the sheltering branches of a pine. Photo 2: the nest, in the middle of a giant clump of sticks, covered with snow.


This pair, affectionately dubbed 'Wonky' and 'Hootie' by longtime live cam viewers, have been nesting around ORI's headquarters for many years. We've had the great pleasure of partnering with to have a live cam on the nest for the last few years, getting a close-up view into the lives of these amazing birds.

Though the Great Horned Owl cam has been experiencing technical difficulties, the pair has been frequenting the (currently) empty Osprey nesting platform at night, using the high perch to hoot, mate, and enjoy a late-night meal.

Snapshot by cam viewer Liv_Owl&Osprey<3. The male (Hootie, facing the camera)) and female (Wonky, on the perch) Great Horned Owls using the Osprey nesting platform as a perch and hangout spot. Feb. 16, 2023.

Originally we thought that the pair had chosen a nest in the distant clump of trees in the view from the Osprey live cam... but nope! We had searched the area multiple times, but couldn't find anything. Turns out they've chosen a nest across the street, on neighboring property. Kudos to our field techs Chloe Hernandez and Hayley Madden for spending a few very snowy hours widening the search!

We'll hopefully be able to move the live cam, but as we have not had a cam over there before we have some added logistics and permissions to work out. (As well as waiting for the Explore cam techs to fix some technical issues- which is scheduled to happen in about 2 weeks!) We'll keep everyone updated as soon as we can!

Check out highlights from previous breeding seasons on the Great Horned Owl live cam:

Tune in to the Osprey live cam in the evenings for a glimpse of some night-time Great Horned Owl activity:

Recent snapshots from the Osprey cam:

Snapshot taken on Feb. 20, 2023 by cam viewer L.I.Marg USA. This is "Wonky," the female Great Horned Owl. Note the enlarged pupil in her right eye- she has lived with this condition for many years, and it does not seem to impact her negatively.

Snapshot taken Feb. 27, 2023 by cam viewer ffbear. One of the adult Great Horned Owls eats a small mammal on the Osprey perch.

Snapshop taken on Feb. 16, 2023 by cam viewer CrisRO. The male and female Great Horned Owls copulating on the Osprey perch.

Want to view more snapshots of the ORI live cams? Visit the ORI Snapshots Gallery on


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