Skip to main content

Great Horned Owls

off Hosted by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Don't miss a thing!

Keep up-to-date on all the nesting news.

Video Highlights

YouTube Terms of Service


About “Athena” and the Wildflower Center Great Horned Owls

For more than a decade, the Wildflower Center has been home to a nesting pair of great horned owls. The female, who they have affectionately named Athena, nests right above the entrance to the courtyard in a sotol planter. When conditions are right and her eggs hatch into owlets, she provides a rare opportunity to view a wild great horned owl rearing her young.

Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that hunt a diverse assortment of prey. They are generally nocturnal hunters, but will also hunt in broad daylight. Throughout the nesting period, the owls may arrive at the nest site with meals of small- to medium-sized mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds of all sizes.

Female Great Horned Owls spend most of the time at the nest caring for eggs and owlets while males hunt for food. After fledging, young may remain with their parents for 3–4 months before dispersing from natal territories.

About the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Named the Botanic Garden of Texas by the state legislature, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center welcomes almost 250,000 people to its gardens annually, fulfilling its mission to inspire the conservation of native plants through research, conservation, education, and horticultural programs. The Wildflower Center is part of the University of Texas Field Station network and is the embodiment of Mrs. Johnson’s environmental legacy, a fact she recognized by noting, “Our Center works for more than the lovely blossoms in our open spaces. We are concerned for all of North America’s native plants, from the smallest sprout to the tallest tree.”

Bird Cams is a free resource

providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library