Untamed Images Blog

    Adventures in Nature Photography

    Browsing Posts published in May, 2012


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    A Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) searches for prey during a faint midday snow shower in California's Sierra Valley.


    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x at 700 mm, 1/2000 sec at f/6.3, ISO 800

    Let me give a “shout out” to the Lahontan Audubon Society (LAS) and their Sierra Valley and Yuba Pass online bird guide entry. Alison and I were on the third day of an early-season trip to the Sierra Valley and Yuba Pass. This visit was several weeks earlier in the season than in prior years, and in hindsight, we might have been too early to see much of the abundant birdlife that nests and raises its young in these locations. So, having had my fill of photographing Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Marsh Wrens, I consulted the LAS bird guide which referenced a certain nearby road, stating that “the seasonally flooded sagebrush habitat along this road may produce Short-eared Owl[s].” I wondered to myself when the LAS had created this writeup, and whether it was even relevant in 2012. Since I am so enamored with photographing owls, I figured that it would certainly be worth trying; I just wouldn’t get my hopes up too high.

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    A burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) perches in a tree to better survey the area surrounding its burrow.


    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM at 500 mm, 1/250 sec at f/5, ISO 400

    I don’t know precisely what it is, but I sure do have a soft spot for owls. This beautiful burrowing owl was photographed on a recent trip to Florida where I spent eight days in the field with my pal Judylynn Malloch. Judylynn was kind enough to take me to one of her favorite locations in Broward County where burrowing owls have nested in prior years. We spent a very productive afternoon photographing multiple owls, but as daylight began to run short, Judylynn suggested we concentrate on a burrow near a small tree with relatively sparse foliage. She predicted that as sunset approached we might see the owl fly up and perch in the tree.
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