A pair of Great Horned Owls in Montana

Great Horned Owl pairGreat Horned Owl pair – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/400, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

This mated pair of Great Horned Owls were resting in the opening of an old granary in Glacier County, Montana when I photographed them in June of 2009.  The male is on the left and the female on the right and their fledglings were most likely inside the granary.

Though I normally prefer birds in natural settings there is some thing about owls and old, weathered wood that I find visually appealing despite the “hand of man” in this frame.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Pingback: Posts from the Past – Owls

  2. I just find Great Horned Owls perfect for any setting. Such wonderful birds:)

  3. The owl on the left has such a great look on it’s face! The open barn window frames them nicely and it’s good they have that structure for shelter. They really are amazing creatures. Great shot Mia!

  4. this really is a wonderful portrait. The window opening and the textured wood complement the animals well. They look very peaceful and content.

  5. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Hi, Mia, I have a feeling that the owls don’t mind the man made structure at all! :-) What a wonderful photo… there’s something about place, history and the indominable spirit of wildlife all wrapped up here. Many thanks.

    By the way, I just received an e-mail from Bob Zeller…and it appears his e-mail has been hacked…. so if anyone gets some URGENT messages from him be careful.

  6. beautifull duo with recto verso position, unusual shot in your portefolio with this barn, but good idea to get it
    have a nice day mia ☼

  7. I think the granary wood really enhances the photograph. Terrific shot! The image is made even more interesting because of the different positioning of the owls.

  8. This is gorgeous, look at that head turn of the female. This could ‘t be any better!

  9. Wonderful composition as I think in this case the barn adds to the image story. I like how each owl is facing opposite. Excellent shot Mia.

  10. Mia, I love this pic! And I agree with you about the weathered wood. It is so photogenic!

  11. Beautiful! I love the way their feathers closely resembles the color of the wood. I can understand why it caught your eye. :)

  12. Wonderful Mia

  13. I’m with you–the barn wood is a very appealing setting for the owls! Great shot!

  14. Oh, nice one Mia, I love Owls.

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