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Posts Tagged ‘owlet’

While I was trying to get some more shots of the baby Barred Owl (Strix varia) at Huntley Meadows Park this past weekend, I managed to get some shots of one of the parents. I returned to the park the day after I got some shots of the owlet in the rain and word had gotten out about the baby owl. There were quite a few photographers present, including several with long lenses and heavy tripods. It was a far cry from the more intimate one-on-one session I had the previous day with the owl.

Fortunately there was somewhat better light than the day before and one of the parents was hanging around, keeping an eye on the baby, and was not hard to spot. Here are a couple of shots of that parent. It’s fascinating for me to note how the owl’s shape changes when it is hunched over versus sitting tall.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

I never got a really clear look at the baby owl that day. Most of the time it sat on a distant tree with its back to me. Occasionally it would glance slightly over its shoulder and I got this shot during one of those occasions. It gives you a general ideal of the owlet’s body shape compared to the more elongated body of the parents.

Barred Owl

I thought I’d finish off this post with a couple more shots of the baby owl from my first encounter. The owl was closer to me, but I was shooting upward in a rather steep angle. The perspective is a little distorted, but you certainly get a good view of its fuzzy bottom.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Early yesterday morning I didn’t expect to see much wildlife or even other people. I was a little surprised when through the falling rain two individuals came walking toward me. One of them asked me if I was interested in seeing an owlet. Without a second’s hesitation I replied affirmatively—I’ve seen an owl in the wild only a handful of times and had never seen an owlet.

We walked together for a short while and then he pointed to a dark lump on a broken-off branch high in a tree. There was a quite bit of foliage, but eventually I found a visual tunnel to the subject and zoomed in. At first, it was hard to tell what I was looking at, but gradually as I began to make out the mottled feathers, I realized that the little Barred Owl (Strix varia) was facing away from me.

I didn’t have much choice of a shooting position, because the leaves and branches of nearby trees obscured the owl from view when I moved to the right or to the left or tried to get a shot from the direction in which the owl was facing. So with my umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other, I watched and waited. I tried to be as stealthy as I could, but the owlet seemed to be aware of my presence and every now and then curiosity would prompt it to sneak a peek in my direction.

I am still going through my photos and may do another posting later, but wanted to share an initial image of one of the owlet’s glances in my direction.

Barred Owl owlet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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