Evening folks…it was a year ago today that I clicked this photograph of this Great Gray Owl up in Ottawa Canada! I hadn't even processed this photo until today. This was the only afternoon that we had a bit of light snow falling. I haven't been out all week (nasty cold) but I'm heading out in the morning to photograph Snowy Owl at sunrise…
Evening folks…I located this Snowy Owl with fresh snow in the dunes a few weeks back. One couldn't have asked this owl to have chosen a nicer setting and with the sun low in the sky casting long shadows. I think this creates a nice environmental photograph our winter visitors have selected for there winter home.
I'm thinking this one will look nice as one of those big aluminum print…
Evening folks…today was another owl kinda day… Started with Snowy Owls and ended the day photographing this fun little Eastern Screech Owl. I have photographed 'Red' Eastern Screech Owls in the past but this is the first 'Grey' Eastern Screech that I have photographed. It's amazing how the grey ones blend into the tree!
Afternoon folks…decided not to go out on yet 'another' snowy day here in New England. So, I spent most of the day processing the backlog of photos, made some headway! Here is a sunrise photo on one very cold morning last week. I only had a few minutes to setup and capture this photo with this awesome light. I had been trying for this photo all winter and finally everything came together, nice pink sky and a great subject. I was one happy person that morning!
Evening folks…here is another from the Snowy shoot from earlier this week. This bird was flushed by a walker on the beach. One could not blame this person, since they had no idea the bird was there until they were right on top of it.
Off tomorrow to Maine to hopefully photograph eagles for a few days.
Evening folks…last night’s post was about of the natural history of the Snowy Owl and why they are here south of their natural range. Tonight’s post is more about respecting nature while we observe or photograph them. Last night Tereasa Messer and Jose Matthews both brought up excellent points on my FB page.
These Snowy owls have traveled many miles in search of food, they are hungry and exhausted. Unlike most owls native New England that hunt mostly at night, Snowy Owls actively hunt during the day. So getting too close these owls can disrupt their concentration on that mouse they have in their sight or flushing them to get a flight shot can cause them to expel energy they don’t have. This can cause undo stress on these birds. Two Snowy Owls have been found dead in New England already, one in Maine and the other here in Massachusetts.
Having said this, this applies to all critters. Let me say that I have made some less than ideal decisions and have been overly aggressive at times to get the ‘capture’. I learned early on that being aggressive, does not allow one get a capture of a critter in a relaxed state or showing some neat behavior that you see in many of my photos posted day after day here on my FB page.
We are NEVER going to be able to observe/photograph any critter without a minimal amount of disturbance, most folks just get too excited and make bad decisions. It’s all about education and this has been part of my ‘Mission Statement’ http://massapoag.org/about/index.html from the start.
Here is a photo of a relaxed owl. If this owls wasn't relaxed it would not be preening. One has to know how to read their subject and this comes from experience. I can tell you this from experience, if the owl starts bobbing it's head you are too close and stressing the bird! If a critter is making eye contact with us, I really don't think this is an issue. As sometime they are just as curious about us as we are about them…
Evening folks…it was a snowy kinda day, as in Snowy Owls… I've never seen so many in one day. I started at Salisbury Beach at day break this morning and ended the day at sundown on Plum Island. The total for the day ended with 15 owls of which I was able to photograph six….
For those that don't know about the irruptions of the Snowy owls, here is a simple explanation. Lemmings usually are found in or near the Arctic they seem to have a 4-5 year population cycle. This is also the normal home range for Snow Owls. Lots of lemmings means lots of Snowy owlets are born, fledge and survive. When the lemmings crash the owls move south to find food. Many owls die, but enough survive to allow the Snowy Owl to maintain a healthy population. It’s nature’s way of balancing populations of both owls and lemmings.
Many of the owls down this way are young birds, this owl I believe is a first year owl.
Evening folks…this will be the last Great Gray Owl for a while, I have more but will save them for a rainy day…. This guy was coming in for a vole but came up empty! This is close to full frame, for a minute I thought he was going to land on my camera lens…
Evening folks…still going though the images from Canada, and stumbled onto this frame that I had to share. This Great Gray Owl was only about 30 feet from me when I was able to click a few frames with my 500mm lens. Just look at those eyes! Nice 'mug shot aye'.
Evening folks…another Great Gray Owl from Canada, just love how its talons are just touching the perch!
Have a great weekend…
Evening folks…here is another owl we were fortunate to photograph, the Boreal Owl. Again this comes from the same area as the Great Gray Owls, the boreal forest. Here is a link for anyone wishing to purchase a photograph http://tinyurl.com/be532bp
Cute little guys!
Evening folks…I was in Canada all of last photographing Great Gray Owls! This owl has the latest wingspan of any owl in North America. They typically live in the boreal forest and western mountains of Canada but due to the lack of food they moved into the Northern US and Southern Canada. For anyone wishing to purchase a print here is a direct link to the Great Gray Owl . More photographs can be found in this gallery.