The return of owls (and wisdom)

Danger launch - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It has been just about ten months since my last encounter with a Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) in one special area I frequently visit in Bragg Creek.  Last year, there was a two month stretch where I would regularly see one or more of four owls in the forest and fields there.  The long absence could be for any number of reasons but most likely it was me not seeing them or them not wanting to be seen.  I know from talking with people in Bragg Creek that owls remain year round but I think some rotate around different spots throughout the year and some migrate away for at least a few months.

On a field mouse - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Last night I went for a drive with my daughter to see what animals were out and about.  When I first spied this owl it was perched on a sapling standing in the middle of one of the meadows.  It was a couple of hundred metres away so we watched for a minute and then carried on.  About a half an hour later we returned and found the owl in a tree along the fenceline.  It was watching over the grassland and soon dove successfully on a field mouse.  It carried that back to a fencepost, had its snack and then went for another one.  Given the place it was, the way it hunted and its markings I think it was one of the four from last year.  She looked hungry so I imagine there are owlets back at her nest.  Over a fifteen minute period of watching her, three rodents fell victim to her aerial strikes.

Big owl, little tree - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It was special to be there with my daughter for this encounter.  However she fell asleep as it was close to her bedtime so I will show her the pictures and we will have to return – maybe tonight.  Last year I had almost daily encounters with the Great Grays in this area.  I can only hope for a repeat this spring.

15 responses

  1. Pingback: Owl flights in Bragg Creek | Christopher Martin Photography

  2. Pingback: On the edge of Kananaskis with an owl | Christopher Martin Photography

  3. Absolutely gorgeous creatures and captures…..

    April 27, 2013 at 8:50 am

  4. Owls are so cool. Your photos are wonderful! How fun to share it with your daughter.

    April 27, 2013 at 3:37 am

  5. Great Chris. I have also been photographing owls here in Florida. Recently a Barred Owl…and earlier a Great Horned Owl with chicks. They are incredible birds. Thanks for your share!

    April 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

  6. Despite the orange man-made thing, I love the perch and gesture in the first one, not one that I normally see . The second one tells me to not just look in the sky and the third is great capture. I bet your daughter has some dreams about these magnificent creatures. I would love to watch these owls-lucky you.

    April 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

  7. Those are just remarkable creatures. Great captures.

    April 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm

  8. Wonderful photos. I am so envious of your viewing this beauty! I recently visited my son in NC and they have a pair of Barred Owls in their backyard. We saw one of them in the creek splashing around. Where is your camera when you need it??? I didn’t see them again, but I heard them.

    April 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

  9. Val

    My third viewing of these photos in this post, Chris. I love this owl!

    April 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

  10. Wonderful photos – owls are so fantastic, but rarely seen.

    April 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

  11. Terrific shots of the Great Gray Owl, Christopher. I saw my first Great Gray Owls while I was just a bit south of Kananaskis last June.

    April 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

  12. Your photos are always so vivid and stunning!

    April 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

  13. Great photos. I love that one of the owl peeking through the bushes at you. I can imagine he’s thinking “excuuuuse me!?”

    April 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

  14. Fantastic photos. I adore owls.

    April 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

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