Meet the Family of Owls Living on Grand Junction’s Riverfront Trail
Here's your chance to meet the newest residents of Grand Junction, Colorado's Riverfront Trail. This last weekend, May 1, 2022, the owl family was home and we were able to capture a few images.
If you've ever walked the Audubon portion of the Riverfront Trail, you've probably seen people staring upwards at a tree not far from the trailhead. Well, this is what they're looking at.
The Owl Family On the Riverfront Trail
This last weekend, Grand Junction residents got a peek at the two young Great Horned Owls. They are often hard to spot. This last weekend, though, they decided to be sociable.
You'll spot the mom and two young owls in the nest. I have seen the adult male precisely one time, and that was a while ago. He can be seen at times cruising along the top of the trees lining the canal.
Not often, but from time to time, the babies and the mom will leave the nest and perch on the limbs at left and right of the nest.
I came back by on Sunday, May 1, and spotted the young owls again. They weren't quite as interested in visiting as they were the day before. One tends to be somewhat outgoing, while the other prefers to remain unnoticed.
Owl's Nest is a Grand Junction Colorado Landmark
Visit the Riverfront Trail as it sets out from the Safeway shopping center off of Broadway, and you'll spot this nest along the trail. Everyone stops to look at the nest to see if anyone is home.
A Little Info About the Great Horned Owl
It's my understanding there are a total of four Great Horned Owl nests along the Audoborn portion of the trail. To date, I've only seen two with my own eyes. According to All About Birds;
With its long, earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare, and deep hooting voice, the Great Horned Owl is the quintessential owl of storybooks. This powerful predator can take down birds and mammals even larger than itself, but it also dines on daintier fare such as tiny scorpions, mice, and frogs. It’s one of the most common owls in North America, equally at home in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.
How to Find the Nest
Let's use Chow Down Healthy Pet Supplies at 2500 South Broadway as our starting point. You can park right along this portion of the Riverfront Trail. From there, take the trail heading west. You'll pass behind the plaza housing Golden Fights Gym and S.O.A.R. From there, continue heading west on the trail until you pass the Redlands Power and Water facility south of the canal.
Shortly after you pass that facility, you'll spot the tree with the owl's nest directly in front of you.
The total distance from Chow Down to the tree containing the nest is just over 2,000 feet. In other words, it's not that long of a hike and is well worth the effort.
Over the last ten years, I've seen several generations of Great Horned Owls emerge from this nest. It's become somewhat famous. If nothing else, the trail makes for an excellent outing. If you're lucky, you'll spot the trail's newest residents.