A Short-eared Owl in Glacier County, Montana

Short-eared Owl in Glacier County, MontanaShort-eared Owl in Glacier County, Montana – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Two years ago I photographed this male Short-eared Owl in Glacier County, Montana on a fence post on the perimeter of some CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land on an August evening. CRP landowners are paid to allow their acreage to go back to their natural state which provides suitable habitat for birds and other animals so they can thrive even with all the cultivated land around them. CRP land must be fenced and this Short-eared Owl perched on one of the posts which happened to be very near the road. The owl was very cooperative, relaxed and even preened several times as I photographed it.

Short-eared Owls do have small ear tufts that aren’t always visible but this owl’s tufts were visible almost the entire time I photographed it.

Those bright yellow eyes sure are mesmerizing!


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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. Their eyes are amazing. And I love how the owl looks to be wearing a cape in this ever-so-pretty shot. Interesting about CRP land, too. Do they use mostly slatted fencing for this type of conservation measure? I’m assuming no barbed wire.

  2. It certainly is a beautiful owl, and well captured.

  3. Mesmerising – and beautiful. Thank you.

  4. he’s a beauty, Mia … wonderful clarity … and you’re so right about those gorgeous eyes!!

  5. Perfect portrait!!!

  6. Excellent Composition

  7. Gorgeous bird and an awesome shot, Mia!

    Wishing you all the best in 2014, Happy New Year!

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