A Tiger Owl on the Prairies

 

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2733

I drove to the High River area on the weekend to look for owls.  It was still dark when I found a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) perched to the side of a small pond east of Frank Lake.

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2438

I set up on the side of the road and spent almost two hours watching him from across the water.  The morning slowly got brighter but with heavy gray clouds diffusing the sunlight, it stayed dark for most of the first hour.  The owl alternated between short naps and moments of intent staring at any stray sound or motion.  These last were both mostly imperceptible to me but kept my attention, and the long lens, focused on him.

Autumn Great Horned Owl flight - © Christopher Martin-2735

Owl over water - © Christopher Martin-2738

Just before 9 am, he stretched wings vertically and launched into the air.  After a couple of quick strokes, he glided over the pond and landed in a bare limbed tree.

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2809

 –

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2751

The skeletal branches did not suit for long and he crossed to another tree edging the pond.  This tree was heavy with autumn tinged leaves and provided a third distinct setting for me to photograph this beautiful tiger owl in.

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2969

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2859

After a few more minutes, he walked down the branch and settled closer to the trunk and more out of sight.  I packed up and while I was putting my tripod away, I watched him fly out and glide over the field behind the pond.

Autumn Tiger Owl - © Christopher Martin-2834

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Autumn animals… before the season is too long gone | Christopher Martin Photography

  2. Pingback: An owl in the woods | Christopher Martin Photography

  3. Frazee

    so beautiful, last part of the serial is finest one, love your pictures

    October 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm

  4. Beautiful. I also learned they were called tiger owls.

    October 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  5. Wonderful photos, a great reminder not to forgot the importance of the setting. What fantastic settings your owl chose for you! I’m glad you didn’t zoom in.

    September 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

  6. Great photos 🙂

    September 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

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