A Christmas owl

I found this great horned owl on December 20th.  She was perched a couple of meters off the ground in a stand of trees along the edge of a farm east of Langdon on Alberta’s prairie.  It was just before noon and the day was cool but not frigid.  The warm sun was lovely as I walked from the range road to a position with a better view of the owl.  I was excited to photograph the bird – especially once I had the sunlight at my back and I could catch the glow of the golden eyes.

She watched the ground intently at times and tracked any ravens that flew overhead.  I settled in on a mound and waited for the bird to launch. Despite a couple of shakes and repositions early on, the bird didn’t fly then and soon the eyes were shutting for increasingly long intervals.

For four hours I waited before the owl jumped into the air.  I was in a great position but was chagrined when she flew away from me.  Hope returned when she alighted on a branch 20 meters away and turned back towards me.  A few minutes along and the excitement returned.  This time the flight path was towards me and she flew beside me on her way to another line of trees towering over a snow-covered field.  This time afforded me a great angle on the owl.

12 responses

  1. WOW!!!

    January 15, 2020 at 11:02 pm

  2. Fabulous!

    January 8, 2020 at 11:43 pm

  3. What an experience–wonderful close ups!

    January 4, 2020 at 4:07 pm

  4. Wonderful captures and tale of the owl’s movements.!

    January 4, 2020 at 12:16 pm

  5. Wow! Love these pictures!

    January 4, 2020 at 9:37 am

  6. I so admire your patience! What a magnificent creature this owl is; the shots are so rich in detail. It’s interesting to see the different perspectives from roosting to flight. Beautiful feathers.

    January 4, 2020 at 1:21 am

  7. Anonymous

    beautiful shot:))))Happy New Year

    January 4, 2020 at 12:47 am

  8. I’ve missed your owls. Great to see them back. This is a beautiful creature.

    January 3, 2020 at 8:34 pm

  9. Very nice! What patience! I hope it wasn’t too cold waiting!!

    January 3, 2020 at 7:45 pm

  10. What a Christmas gift! Every one of the photos is delightful, although there’s something about a bird with its eyes closed that I find charming. I also was impressed with your patience. I know that bird photographers often wait for their shots, but I’ve never had a clear idea of how long they will wait. Now I do!

    January 3, 2020 at 7:12 pm

  11. Owls are so wonderful! I am on the lookout here in Massachusetts. Fabulous pictures!

    January 3, 2020 at 7:04 pm

  12. So adept at moving their wings to get through the branches. I lie the portraits, too.

    January 3, 2020 at 7:01 pm

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