Winter Barn Owl on a gray day

Still waiting for snow here in the Salt Lake Valley so I am posting another snowy image of a Barn Owl taken in December of 2013.

Winter Barn Owl on a gray dayWinter Barn Owl on a gray day – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 640, +2.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

A few days ago there was a dusting of snow on the ground when I woke up but it didn’t take long for that to melt away unlike past years where it took days; sometimes even weeks, for the snow to melt away. The last part of December in 2013 was like that where the snow stayed for weeks and the birds were far more visible.

There was a period of time where the winter conditions were so bad that the Barn Owls had to hunt during the day to consume enough to survive because the snow was so thick on the ground that it made it hard for the owls to see or  hear their prey and the temps were bitter cold. I always feel bad for them when conditions are so brutal.

This Barn Owl stayed in this location for 19 minutes before it flew to another location to search for prey.

Close up of a Barn OwlClose up of a Barn Owl – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 640, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The Barn Owl missed the prey and took shelter in a thick stand of snow-covered phragmites. We left the owl so it could rest.

Yeah, I do feel bad for them when they have to struggle so hard to just stay alive.



  1. Utahbooklover December 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Love the composition and peaceful feeling of the first image. As for the weather, your point was nicely illustrated in the program JOURNEY TO PLANET EARTH: EXTREME REALITIES on PBS last night — all part of climate change, which affects things like the jet-stream, el niño, etc. and gives us so much unusual weather.

  2. John Randall December 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Wonderful Images Mia ! Happy holidays ! 🙂

  3. Stu December 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Wonderful Shots Mia

  4. Humming Bird Lover December 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Hi! Such a beautiful Bird! I love all your Photo’s, but Owls and Hummers are my favorites! Have a great day!

  5. Elephant's Child December 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Just exquisite. Thank you.

  6. judy December 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I’m speechless.
    amazing photos!!

  7. Lois Bryan December 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    What a beautiful guy … love the wonderful snowy scenery you captured him in!!!

  8. Patty Chadwick December 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Wonderful shots!!! Beautiful bird…epitome of softness! So GLAD TO BE BACK!!!!

Comments are closed.