Adult Burrowing Owl head spin blur
Antelope Island State Park, Utah
D200, f5.6, 1/60, ISO 800. +0.3 EV, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
The day I took this image there was low light as the sun had barely risen, but the day was cloudy and gray and that makes for difficulties when photographing birds. This adult Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) was near a burrow that was used in 2009 for a brood of four chicks. When I saw this bird I hoped that the burrow would be used again in 2010, that was not to be though. The other adult from the year before had been struck and killed by a passing car, this bird probably didn’t find a mate in the same location as last year.
I wanted to get images of this owl even though the light was dim so I cranked my ISO up to 800, set my aperture at f5.6 to get the most shutter speed possible and the fastest shutter speed I could get was 1/60. When the owl was staying still that was sufficient, it sure wasn’t when the owl spun its head though!
This blur was not intentional, but I do like the effect caused by the head spinning. Makes me dizzy just viewing the photo!