I discovered this in 2007 with an owl, that I still consider my favorite bird photo all all time. It will be the last in this review.
One of the more unusual sighting of an owl for me was in Sarasota Florida. My wife and I had gone to the Botanical Gardens there because they had an orchid exhibit. After touring the exhibit, we left the green house and entered the grounds. Immediately we saw some people standing on the path staring at something. I didn't see anything and asked them. They said there was an owl roosting on a palm frond at eye level. Well sure enough a small owl was sleeping on the palm frond. Fortunately I had my camera in the car and retrieved it. It was an Eastern Screech-Owl.
2 of these owls I found on a trip to Duluth Minnesota in the dead of winter..traipsing through knee deep snow in below freezing temps. Yes, we birders can be crazy! The Northern Hawk-Owl was easily found as he perches on the tops of trees. Notice the very long tail on this owl.
The other was a Snowy Owl. This is a large pure white owl with yellow eyes of the arctic tundra. Juvenile birds like this one have some brown streaks. He also has a black paint splotch on the right side of his head, so he can be IDed out on the ice in the harbor.
|Snowy Owl - immature|
In the Rio Grande valley in Texas, there is a place that one can reliably find the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. It is at San Miguelito Ranch. It is the only sure place in the USA to find the bird but call ahead as in the blog note.
While I was at the San Miguelito Ranch, it was very windy and it allowed us to approach a barn with a sleeping Barn Owl leaning against a beam.
The 27" Great Gray Owl is the largest owl in North America. It is a bird of the far north boreal woods. This one was along the Denali Highway on Alaska and was sitting on its nest. It is the only one of this species I have ever seen.
|Great Gray Owl|
The only tropical owls I have photographed well was this pair of 18" Spectacled Owls in Panama in 2014. The larger female is on the left.
|Spectacled Owl - pair|
In 2012 in California, my wife and I had a guide take us to see a roost of Long-eared Owls. These 15" owls roost communally in the winter. there were more than a dozen in a single tree. Here is one of them.
The endangered Spotted Owl has dark eyes. This one was in Arizona.
|Great Horned Owl|
photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald
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