Nice to see you again. Most birds are thinking of surviving the winter cold by going south or producing layers of fat and new types of insulating feathers. Right now, and into late January, the Great Horned Owls are already going through their courtship hooting rituals. Since they mate for life most pairs by their intense hooting, are just resurfacing old bonds.
Sometime in late January the females will have found a suitable nesting site in their territory. Since these owls don’t build their own nests, they must rely on last year’s nests of crows, red-tailed hawks, and even squirrel leaf clusters to lay their two to five eggs. When Great Horned Owls live in suburban areas, ledges of buildings have been used.
Because of the cold weather, eggs are incubated as soon as they are layed. The late layed eggs hatch out three to four days later, causing possible death. Bird, like chickens or pheasants, lay all their eggs - usually one a day - before incubation, so they all hatch out at the same time. Once the female owl lays her eggs, she becomes the nest tender, depending on the male to bring her food. Biting cold, driving winds, swinging trees, snow, and pelting sleet or rain seem to make her more determined to hatch the eggs she is protecting.