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.
Beware those yellow eyes peering at you in the dark. You never know what they might belong to. Actually you probably don’t have much to fear from this great horned owl owlet that I got a picture of back in April but tonight your imagination may run wild if you see something like this. It does kind of have an evil look. 😉
This little one seemed to think it had a pretty good hiding place. Clearly not. 😉
This past Sunday I checked on the last, lingering owlets of the nests that I watch and found the family all doing well.
The young ones were hanging out in two different spots of the same tree while mama was in an adjacent tree. All gave me some pretty neat shots but this was by far my favorite. So cute and those big eyes were awesome!
Looking a bit damp and definitely giving a grumpy look, these two owlets looked like they would have preferred some drier conditions. Ha!
These are about the last, lingering owlets from any of the nests I watch. They are still pretty young and while not flying yet, they have migrated from the nest tree to one with a bit more cover.
Great horned owl owlets will leave the nest, usually in a less than graceful fall, then move to neighboring trees, walking across the ground and then climbing the other tree. Dad and Mom will continue to feed them but, eventually, start coaxing them to try to fly to them to get their meals.
One of those lucky finds. A couple of weeks ago I was scouting some area open spaces looking for foxes when I spotted this nest.
At the time, I could see one owlet with mama in it. This past weekend I went by again and saw two golden eyes peering over the rim. It seems like there might be another owlet in front of the one but I can’t tell for sure.
After snapping some pics of the little one I said, “I wonder where mama is?” Well, as it turns out she was perched in the tree directly above where I stopped my truck.
Darn it! Clearly I waited too long to pay another visit to this nest. You have seen me post pics of it, the one with the tree cavity nest. Well, I thought this would be the week where the little ones would start hopping around the rim of the nest.
I was wrong as this afternoon they were out of the nest and way up in the tree hanging out with mama (you have to look close for the second owlet peeking out). Oh well. I got some cool shots of mama when she first started incubating and later of the pair down in the nest just a week and a half ago.
So stinking cute!
I went and checked on one of my local great horned owl spots and finally got a good look at the little ones. Initially only one owlet was visible but I could see motion behind it so I knew there had to be more.
I went for a walk around the area open space, seeing what else I could find, and when I returned two were visible. Both were wide-eyed and looking cute as heck. Not far above them in the tree, mom was perched. Being a bit more seasoned, she paid me little attention beyond briefly opening her eyes and then going right back to sleep.
I have not done a good job checking my local owl nests lately as it has been ridiculously windy here on the Colorado Front Range and I just can’t deal with that stuff. Haha. Yesterday I did finally get by one of the nests and, sure enough, there was an owlet peering back at me (as well as mama).
Most likely there is more than one little one in there, hiding under mama. This isn’t a particularly good nest for photographs due to the distance and direction but it is still fun to see them.
That is what I said to myself last Friday during my after work walk. It just seemed like the right place for one.
I was stopping every 10 feet or so, scanning the dense trees and bushes each time. After a while, I uttered those words, turned to my right and there it was, not 15 feet away and staring me right in the face. I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or the owl!
I was far closer than what I like to be as I don’t like to upset the critters so I started backpedaling. As I did, I snapped a few pics of my new hidden friend and he took flight, giving me some decent flight shots. The owl then was kind enough to perch out in the open, giving me a few more captures.
Not wanting to startle it again, I left it there, happy for the chance, surprise encounter. I do suspect there is a nest somewhere in that spot but I will be darned if I can find it.
Well, I do get this a lot from my photo subjects but owls really seem to have the look down more than any other type of wildlife. 😉
After work Friday I stopped by to check on my favorite owl nest as it shouldn’t be long before we see owlets. None were seen on this day although mama definitely seemed to be sitting higher in the cavity so I suspect they may have hatched but just weren’t ready to show themselves yet.
Of course mom gave me her trademark glare that I have been on the receiving end of many times. It took some work but I did find dad right nearby and he gave me a squinty look, seeming to size me up. I think I give my kids’ friends similar looks.