Saturday, February 21, 2015

Owls - Hoot of a day

The beauty of being retired is that any day of the week can be a "Saturday" where I can just spend the full day "out and about."  Yesterday was such a day and I ended up photographing four species of owls and a lot of other wild things.

None of the owls were new discoveries as I knew where they were; I just had to be lucky and they needed to cooperate.  The Saw-whet owls are using the nest boxes already and I have been watching this one for about a month.  It was peeking out of the hole as I arrived early in the morning. 
 
After visiting a pair of Great-horned owls, I checked it again and it was about half way out of the nest box and still ignoring me

 
Then I walked down to the East Windrow at Market Lake and the Long-eared owls were out of their normal hiding places.  With the sun just coming through the thin clouds, they were easy to photograph.  At best count, all seven of them were still there.

 
The sizes between them are very different.  There was also a Great-horned owl in the same windrow.

 
After spending the day playing with other wildlife like elk, deer, coyotes, jackrabbits, waterfowl and even doing a few chores, I went to Camas NWR to watch the eagles and check on the Short-eared owls.  I found nine Short-ears working the grasslands around the empty ponds.  I hid in some reeds the owls were working.  This one about landed on me.

 
I was delighted to watch them display and even watched as one harvested a rodent.

 
After the sun went down, I located this beautifully colored Great-horned owl in some old dead cottonwoods.

 
I checked several areas to see if the Burrowing owls had showed up, but I was a few weeks too early.  But it was just another early morning and late evening spent with the wild creatures of Idaho.

5 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful!!!

Monts said...

Bill these are superb some of the best owl images I have seen .
As we say real crackers.

Lois Evensen said...

How beautiful! Wonderful shots!

Mary Cromer said...

Hope you have now gotten my message about any comments you may leave on my blog, as I can no longer see them, or post to my blog comments...very sad for me. Your Owls, Oh My Goodness to be able to see so many, and all of the other wildlife too...just must be amazing. Happy Week Bill!

troutbirder said...

Wow! If I see one or two owls per year I consider myself lucky....