Male Short-eared Owl with prey for chicks
Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana
Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1500, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
I am so excited I can barely contain myself. By the time this article is posted on my blog I will be on the road back to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southern Montana, another one of my favorite locations on this planet.
On the 30 mile drive from Monida I will be keeping an eye out for Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks, Bald Eagles, Long-billed Curlews, Kestrels and Sandhill Cranes. I will also be looking for Elk, Pronghorns, Mountain Bluebirds and more. You never know what might be seen.
Last year we were fortunate to find a Short-eared Owl nest not too far from one of the roads on the refuge where we could park to use the vehicle as a mobile blind and at a distance we could watch and photograph the owls without disrupting or disturbing them. Will lightning strike twice and we’ll be lucky enough to find another Short-eared Owl nest? Who knows but I will keep my fingers crossed!
Red Rock Lakes NWR feels magical to me. There are times when the light is simply gorgeous and almost takes my breath away. The lakes, marshes and open grasslands and the Centennial Mountain Range beckons for me to explore and photograph the wonders before my eyes.
I’ll wake and hear the howls of coyotes in the area and the calls of the Sandhill Cranes. During the day I will hear the captivating sounds of the Long-billed Curlews and the unmistakable calls of the Trumpeter Swans. The Lupines and Shooting Stars will be in bloom and the pungent aroma of Sagebrush will fill the air. The stars at night will enchant me by twinkling against the dark velvet sky and the expected lake mists early in the morning will add an air of mystery.
Oh yeah, I am very excited to be going back to a place that has become near and dear to my heart. I am hoping for good light, good weather, plenty of birds, other wildlife and another awesome adventure to a wonderful location that fills me with inspiration.
* I have set up a few pre-scheduled posts for while I am off the grid.
More Short-eared Owl images