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Barn Owl

Barn Owl says, “Hello, World”

Taken back on Independence Day, I had spent a couple of hours waiting for this little one and its siblings to emerge from their nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. I was about to give up when this one finally decided to make an appearance.

While it was the only one of the three to show its face, it put on a nice little show for myself an the other photographers nearby. I love this shot of it as it first appeared with what looks to be a huge smile at its audience. It isn’t often you will find these birds out in the open.

Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.

A Barn Owl owlet emerges from its nest in the cavity of a tree at Barr Lake State Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet emerges from its nest in the cavity of a tree at Barr Lake State Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl owlet puts on a show

Such a ham. While its siblings remained hidden in the next within the tree cavity, this little one seemed to revel in the attention myself and a half dozen other photographers gave him a few weeks ago. Three times he scampered out of the nest, and then back in, climbing around and putting on a display each time.

It was undoubtedly a bit cramped down in the home so this particular time it chose to stretch its wings above its head. It also spent some time flapping its wings, giving them a test, a sure sign it was getting ready to fledge. Indeed, just a few short days later, these cool guys were out of the nest and starting their new life on their own.

Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.

A Barn Owl owlet stretches its wings while standing over its nest cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet stretches its wings while standing over its nest cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl owlet climbs out for a public appearance

I heard about this very unique opportunity early last week and paid the site a visit right away. That however was in the afternoon and light was horrible so my pics were disappointing.

Yesterday I went back in the morning under better conditions and soon found myself hot and frustrated. The Barn Owl owlets were simply not wanting to come out, choosing instead to stay hunkered down in the next inside a tree cavity.

I waited for almost two hours as temperatures rose then finally, one emerged. The little one ended up putting on quite a show for a half hour or so, climbing in and out of the nest a few times, stopping to pose in between each time.

This sequence shows the owlet as it climbed out the first time.

Barn Owls are notoriously shy and secretive, very rarely placing a nest within easy viewing of human eyes. This one however is at a Colorado state park not far from my house and very visible from a walking path. Such a huge treat to be able to see them and I will certainly be trying to get back before the young ones fledge.

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl owlet climbs out of its nest in a tree cavity at Barr Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl makes a happy landing

That face! So cute and it certainly looks to be one happy raptor. Humans do tend to project our emotional reactions and our perceptions onto animals when we really have no idea what they are ‘feeling’ but you can’t help it with this image.

This particular owl was a participant at a photo workshop I took back in October. Cupid is two years old and was captive bred for educational programs and he now serves as an ambassador for Wild Wings Environmental Education.

These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. They typically remain out of sight roosting in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other buildings.

A Bark Owl extends its landing gear as it prepares to touch down. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bark Owl extends its landing gear as it prepares to touch down. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl patrols by dawn’s early light

With some pretty fall-colored leaves in the background, this male Barn Owl patrols an open field on the lookout for a meal. Photo opportunities of these nocturnal raptors do not come often as during the day they are usually hiding away.

For this image, I “cheated” a bit and took part in a workshop where I had the opportunity to get pictures of this captive bird. Named Cupid, he belongs to a raptor group that used him for educational purposes.

Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.

A Barn Owl patrols the fall skies near Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl patrols the fall skies near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl makes some noise

These guys definitely don’t make the traditional ‘hoot’ that some owls are known to do. Instead, they make this raspy, eerie sound that almost sounds like a scream. Very weird.

It isn’t often you will find these birds out in the open. Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. This particular owl is a captive one named Cupid, used for educational purposes.

You can listen to the odd sound they make here.

A Barn Owl makes its distinctive screech while perched in Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl makes its distinctive screech while perched in Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl poses for its portrait

Sometimes photographers don’t have to work too hard to make their subjects look nice. Such was the case with this handsome fellow. Barn Owls are rarely seen out in the open so when I was given the opportunity to spend some time with one, I seized on it.

Cupid is two years old and was captive bred for educational programs. I was able to capture images from just about every angle and of every pose imaginable. For this shot, the owl itself coupled with the texture of the wood and those always beautiful, blue Colorado skies really made for a nice capture.

These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. They typically remain out of sight roosting in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other buildings.

A Barn Owl rests of a stump near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl rests of a stump near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Barn Owl takes flight

The wingspan on these owls is surprisingly large given their relatively small stature. While only getting up to about 16 inches tall, those wings can spread as wide as four feet! That was something that definitely caught me off guard when I was photographing this handsome fellow at a photoshoot recently.

These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. They typically remain out of sight roosting in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other buildings.

A Barn Owl launches itself into the air near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl launches itself into the air near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Happy Barn Owl approaches landing

Say hello to Cupid, an absolutely gorgeous two-year-old male Barn Owl. While I don’t really need any help finding raptors to photograph, this past weekend I took part in a workshop which allowed me the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few of them.

This was particularly exciting because it isn’t too often you get pictures of a Barn Owl, let alone get a chance to capture images like this. He flew many times and patiently posed while I and others snapped our shutters, giving us images from just about every angle imaginable.

Cupid is two years old and was captive bred for educational programs and he now serves as an ambassador for Wild Wings Environmental Education.

These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. They typically remain out of sight roosting in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other buildings.

A Barn Owl comes in for a landing in Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl comes in for a landing in Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Boxed in Barn Owl

I really, really want a good picture of these cool owls but this is the best I have been able to manage so far. A pair of Barn Owls at Barr Lake spends some time in a nest box. It can be hit or miss as to whether or not they are in there. On this day last month, at least one was. Now just need to get that awesome pic of them “in the wild.” 😉

A Barn Owl tries to hide in a nest box at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Barn Owl tries to hide in a nest box at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)