As I do every year, I close things out with recap videos of some of the cool photo subjects I have photographed during my photo year (Oct – Sep). Kicking things off, let’s go with a subject everyone loves – owls! I was fortunate to photograph five species of owls during the period from the diminutive burrowing owl and eastern screech owl to bigger long eared owls, a short eared owl (captive) and great horned owls. Enjoy the show and keep an eye out for a new slideshow each day through the end of the year.
Burrowing owl stretches out
Keeping a family of at least seven little owlets fed and happy is a lot of work and does not allow for much downtime. Just like human parents, they have to make the most of those breaks when they can, even if it is just a brief moment stretching its wings out on a stake.
Such was the case this past July 4th when I spent some time photographing this guy and his family. This was a bit of a down year for burrowing owls for me. I did not find many nests and those that I did were farther than what is really required to capture decent pics. On this day, dad took mercy on me and perched closer than normal, allowing me a few nice shots.
Whoa! That is one HUGE bird!
Whoa! That is one HUGE bird! No, not this little burrowing owl but the big airplane that was flying over and clearly caught the owl’s attention. Those eyes were absolutely huge as it focused on and tracked the metal bird’s path through the sky. Another entertaining moment with these fun little ones.
Burrowing owl owlet stretches its wings
Ounce for ounce, you would be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining creature in the animal kingdom than burrowing owls, particularly the owlets. Even when they are just hanging out at home, they can provide some fun shots like this one. This owlet hasn’t quite fledged yet but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel the need to stretch those wings. Here, it tucks them up over its head, making for a cute capture.
A very focused burrowing owl up close
You haven’t seen many pics of these guys this year from me as most of my usual hot spots have gone cold. Thankfully, a friend has been out doing some scouting and found a few nests in different areas.
At this one, there are at least eight owlets, soon to fledge. While parked and watching them, dad decided he wanted a closer look at the photographer and landed on a post not 20 feet away.
He was quite comfortable with me, sitting for quite a while and, for the most part, ignoring me. At one point he did give me a direct look allowing this fun close up.
When you know it is Monday but refuse to come out and deal with it
This burrowing owl reflects how I am feeing about the start of the workweek. Can’t we just go back to the weekend? 😉 Thus far it has been pretty slim pickings on finding these little guys this spring. Those I have found are extraordinarily shy and a good ways off. Hopefully I can find some better spots in the coming weeks.
Look hoohoo is back!
A fantastic photo outing this morning and one of the highlights was certainly seeing the first burrowing owl of the season. It was a loner but definitely a sign of the little ones returning for the summer. They are so stinking cute and thoroughly entertaining, definitely one of my favorites.
Video slideshow: Top shots 2021 – Owls
Owls hold a special fascination for many and for good reason. Most are nocturnal and professionals at staying hidden during the day so they aren’t easily seen. As a photographer, it is quite challenging to photograph the. This past photo year I was able to photograph three species: Long eared owls, great horned owls and burrowing owls.
I struggled a bit with the great horned owls, more than usual, but found some worthy subjects and the burrowing owls gave me some nice flights shots, something which I have struggled with in the past. I hope you enjoy this look back at my favorite captures of 2021 of these mysterious creatures.
The last burrowing owl of the season?
It is quite possible this young one from Saturday is the last one that I will photograph this year. With this cutie being the only exception, all others at the nests I have spent watching have grown up and dispersed, some likely already starting their migration south for the winter.
Although I did not spend quite as much time photographing them this year, it did seem to be a good one for the little owls. They established their summer homes near the usual spots I find them and all but one of the nests had babies and successfully fledged them.
I do still have tons of pics to share of them from previous outings and will be anxiously awaiting next spring when they return.
Burrowing owl brings home breakfast for the kiddos
Oh yummy! Beetle for breakfast! Thankfully it was for the owlets and not for me. 😉
Taken a couple of weeks ago, taking care of the six owlets at this nest was a full time job for dad and mom. They got very few breaks as they were constantly on the hunt for food to keep those little mouths fed. Here, the female returns with a tasty morsel.
The owlets have started to spread out and many have started to take their first flights, making viewing them much more difficult. It won’t be long and the family will begin their journey south for the winter.