This video is of one of the three Montgomery family Great Horned owlets (the other two and mother were nearby). The family nested on the Northern Illinois University Campus in DeKalb, Illinois.
**Disclaimer – the owlet in the video reacts to a passerby but by no means was this video stressful for the owlet or any members of the Montgomery family. We at Birdfreak take owl stressing and exact raptor nest location disclosure VERY SERIOUSLY.
The Montgomery family has nested at NIU in prior years and all three owlets are doing fine. They have been monitored all winter by professors in the vicinity, especially since there is a semi-high traffic road nearby. Jennie (aka Veery) spent the past three days watching the people who were observing the owls. There is a walking path right in this area and all the people observed have been aware and respectful of the family.
We personally have little knowledge on the stress on “local” owls. This is the first returning family of owls in a city area that we have known about.
Most worries we have concern owl invasions where the bird is out of its normal area and already stressed. Also, when an owl is out of its area, it is “rare” and many photographers stream in to take pictures. We would welcome more information on this subject from anyone with knowledge of owls under stress.