An owl in the trees

Flying in the trees - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/800th of a second at f/4 on ISO 6400

Earlier, before I waited with the Great Blue Heron for a decent part of the morning, a Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) hunted along one of my favourite Bragg Creek backroads.  I had parked my car, slung my tripod over the shoulder and headed down the road trying to listen for sights and sounds in the trees bordering the gravel.  The owl swooped in front of me, flying near eye level a few metres away.

Note: please click on any image if you would like to see a larger version

A phantom in the forest - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/640th of a second at f/4 on ISO 5000

I hadn’t noticed it before the flyby but my attention was held for the next twenty minutes before it dissolved into the forest gain.  During that time, the bird alternately perched, then flew, then perched again.

Hanging out in the sticks - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24-105mm lens (at 105mm): 1/200th of a second at f/4 on ISO 5000

It kept eyes on the ground from the boughs and fence posts.  When it flew it was on a line to something scurrying in the grass that was invisible to me.  Twice the owl hovered over a spot briefly which was really interesting to watch.

Morning hunt - 2013 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1250th of a second at f/4 on ISO 5000

The owl’s wing motion to stay in relatively the same spot was new to me which was great.

Hovering in flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1250th of a second at f/4 on ISO 5000

7 responses

  1. AMAZING!

    October 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  2. Wow – what a beautiful bird! Chris, your photos always amaze me! I appreciate the opportunity to see rare moments in nature.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  3. WOW!! Absolutely stunning!

    October 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

  4. The owl is gorgeous and looks so good in that green forest.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

  5. simply wonderful!!!

    October 4, 2013 at 4:03 am

  6. gangel77

    Lol ur up as last as I am. Nice shot. Crazy so clean at 6400 ISo

    Sent from …Canada!!

    October 4, 2013 at 3:11 am

    • Late night’s often my best time to get work out. At least you have a good reason to still be awake!

      The 5DIII’s high ISO is pretty great. The higher end cameras almost see in the dark these days.

      Happy shooting Glenn!

      October 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

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